FROM HILL 55..
SUBJ SUMMARY OF SUPPORTING ARMS
FOLLOWING REPORTS , VARIOUS SOURCES--
For now, the base, informally known as “Firebase Bell,” is a one-of-a-kind operation for U.S. troops in Iraq. ..
Last month fewer than 200 Marines set up the outpost, which has at least four M777A2 howitzer artillery guns
M777 howitzer A1 and A2 variants: The systems fitted with the digital fire control system are designated M777A1, and those with the software update which allows the firing of the Excalibur projectile, M777A2. M777A2 received full material release in July 2007, clearing the upgrade for fielding. All M777A1 systems will be upgraded to the A2 standard.
The construction of the M777 makes extensive use of titanium and titanium castings, enabling a weight reduction of 3,175kg (7,000lb) compared to the M198 howitzer which it replaces in the US Army and USMC inventory. The titanium is supplied by RTI International metals of Niles, Ohio.
A spate of local reports from the front near Makhmour and Nasr suggest the Iraqis units have suffered from some desertions and some forward-deployed infantry troops are not fighting aggressively.
(Army Co. Steve) Warren downplayed those reports and noted that these Iraqi units are seeing combat for the first time.
“There’s always going to be some 'getting your legs under you' and that is what we’re seeing now,” he said.
The TAD digital fire control system provides onboard ballistic computation, navigation, pointing and self-location, providing greater accuracy and faster reaction times.
MACROSYSCOM.MARINES.MIL-- THE EXCALIBER ROUND Another evolutionary effort surrounding the M777 involves plans to “refresh” its digitized fire control system. Describing it as “that leap-ahead technology provided to towed artillery,” Gooding said, “the digital fire control has really transformed how
we are seeing Marines use artillery. Having the embedded capability of
the Excalibur precision round, which has been used very effectively in
As an example of this effective use, he highlighted a February 2012 fire
mission in Afghanistan during which a Marine Corps M777 at Forward
Operating Base Zeebrugge, fired an M982 Excalibur round on insurgents
in Kajaki, located in neighboring Musa Qala district.The round traveled a “record” range of
more than 22 miles (36 kilometers) to kill a team of Taliban fighters.
END OF REPORT
DIST ALL FIELD UNITS --CLASSIFIED--