How Does the American SLRC Cannon Compare to China and Russia?

  • The requirement of the US army is to keep the cost of one shot of this gun in the range of no more than $400,000-$500,000.
  • According to these materials, the SLRC gun is structurally somewhat similar to the famous American 280-mm M65 gun created in the 1950s.
  • The goal is to gain advantage over Russia in the area of artillery.

The first open image of one of the most original, modern American weapons projects-a large-caliber Strategic Long Range Cannon (SLRC). It is being developed under the US Army, and is designed to shoot high-precision missiles at a range of “more than 1000 miles” (sea). In 2019, it was reported that funding for the program should start in fiscal year 2020, and that the SLRC prototype should be ready in 2023.

The SLRC image is from the presentation poster of the US Army Research laboratory, and was “leaked” to the LinkedIn social network.

According to the results of the prototype tests, a decision will be made on the possibility of further development of the project. It was also reported that the requirement of the US Army is to keep the cost of one shot of this gun in the range of no more than $400,000-$500,000.

Furthermore, it is reported that the SLRC image is from the presentation poster of the US Army Research laboratory (Combat Capabilities Development Command Army Research Laboratory), “leaked” to the LinkedIn social network from the US-UK Modernization Demonstration Event held on February 20, 2020.

The Combat Capabilities Development Command, is a subordinate command of the U.S. Army Futures Command. RDECOM was tasked with “creating, integrating, and delivering technology-enabled solutions” to the U.S. Army.

According to these materials, the SLRC gun is structurally somewhat similar to the famous American 280-mm M65 gun created in the 1950s. This was designed for firing mainly nuclear projectiles at a range of up to 36 km. Twenty M65 series guns were manufactured, which were in service until 1963.

The M65 atomic cannon, often called “Atomic Annie,” was an artillery piece built by the United States and capable of firing a nuclear device. It was developed in the early 1950s, at the beginning of the Cold War, and fielded, between April 1955 and December 1962, in West Germany, South Korea and on Okinawa.

However, the SLRC has a clearly different swinging part (the gauge is unknown). The active-jet SLRC projectile appears to have a two-stage jet engine. These systems should be reduced to batteries of four guns.

The US Army command believes that the long-range US artillery in modern conditions gets a different purpose. At the initial stage of the war, its most important task is to defeat the infrastructure of the A2/AD zones in order to break through gaps for tactical aviation. Other important tasks will be supporting advanced units, as well as delaying the deployment of the enemy. Per the Charles Koch Institute, “China uses anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) technology to avoid conflicts on its coast and mainland, yet the technology has important ramifications for the United States.”

The US armed forces are working on the modernization of their artillery. The goal is to gain advantage over Russia in this area. Modern Russian barrel and jet artillery is capable of firing 1.5-2 times further than comparable American weapons. Nevertheless, according to western experts, there is an even more compelling reason for the modernization of US artillery.

Both Russia and China are purposefully creating operational associations consisting of modern fighters, long-range air defense systems, ballistic and cruise missiles, as well as electronic warfare and combat control systems.

U.S. artillery, where possible, should be used in conjunction with remote air and sea-based weapons that fire from positions outside enemy reach. The use of the most diverse, flying up from different directions means of destruction, as it is believed, should lead to an overload of the enemy’s defensive systems. After sufficient weakening of the military infrastructure of the A2/AD zones, it will be possible to use US or allied aircraft in the front line and over enemy territory.

Both Russia and China are purposefully creating operational associations consisting of modern fighters, long-range air defense systems, ballistic and cruise missiles, as well as electronic warfare and combat control systems. These combinations of offensive and defensive systems allow you to keep American ships and aircraft at a distance that prevents the attack of their troops or their own territory (Anti-Access/Area Denial-A2/AD, Rus. – restricted area). Much attention from the experts in this regard is attracted by the Chinese ballistic missile “Dong Feng 21D” (Dong Feng 21D), designed to defeat aircraft carriers at a range of up to 1500 km.

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Christina Kitova

I spent most of my professional life in finance, insurance risk management litigation.

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