Illustration: US Army
Illustration: US Army

While militaries are competing in the field of hypersonic missiles that can travel in excess of 1,000 miles, the US Army is also looking at supersizing existing technology to reach comparable distances.

That’s what Colonel John Rafferty told reporters at an annual US military conference in Washington this week, saying that a new long-range cannon in development will be able to shoot at precision more than 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers).

According to Rafferty, whose comments were reported by Breaking Defense, the new weapon is in essence based on 155mm howitzer and rocket-boosted artillery shells from the 1980s.

“I don’t want to oversimplify, [but] it’s a bigger one of those,” he said. “We’re scaling up things that we’re already doing.”

The strategic long-range cannon (SLRC), or “slorc,” is a priority because US field artillery is “outranged and outgunned,” as former US national security adviser H R McMaster put it to lawmakers in 2016.

Rafferty is the director of the army’s Long Range Precision Fires team, which is separate from a multi-service program still in the process of being created that would tackle the development of hypersonic missiles. The completion date for the SLRC has not yet been announced.

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