BAE says it fired the XM1155-SC guided projectile a record distance

By Dan Schere / October 10, 2023 at 2:36 PM

BAE systems has fired the XM1155-SC guided projectile a record distance for an M109 Paladin in partnership with the Army, the company announced this week.

While the distance wasn't disclosed, the projectile “successfully guided to and impacted the target area using GPS,” according to BAE.

The projectile was shot out of a 39-caliber M109A7 artillery system, BAE Vice President of Business Development Jim Miller told reporters Monday during the Association of the United States Army’s annual conference in Washington.

BAE’s concept for the Army’s XM1155-SC program is an “advanced, cannon-launched projectile under development for the defeat of fixed and moving targets in contested environments” at more than double the range of existing precision-guided munitions launched from a cannon, according to the company. BAE is under contract with the Army to “demonstrate navigation and control, networking and payload technologies that enable precision fires at very long ranges” for 155mm projectiles.

Miller said Monday that the XM1155 is part of a family of high-velocity projectiles, and BAE has modified the projectiles over time so they can be shot out of various types of cannons. Those cannons include both Navy guns and Army howitzers, he said.

“Our intent with that round now is to prove that we can double the range of traditional artillery, regardless of the caliber of the gun, and we can hit an imprecisely located or moving target in a contested environment. So that’s what we’re out to prove,” Miller said.

The Army’s Extended Range Cannon Artillery program, an upgraded self-propelled howitzer system based on the M109A7 Paladin, is one of the few “24 in ’23” modernization priorities that is not expected to be fielded by the end of this year, Army Secretary Christine Wormuth said this summer. ERCA had been experiencing “technology maturation issues,” which led to schedule delays, according to the Government Accountability Office’s Weapon Systems Annual Assessment.

Army acquisition executive Doug Bush told Defense News Monday that decisions about how to proceed on ERCA will be made in fiscal year 2025, although the service still has a requirement for longer-range fires.

When asked about the challenges the ERCA program has been having, Miller referred to BAE’s XM1155 as a “complementary” capability rather than an alternative.

“We want to fill a gap that the brigade commanders need that isn’t ERCA. Because we need that range in our brigades,” he said.