U.S. Marines test new M776 Chrome Tube for 155mm M777A2 Lightweight Towed Howitzer 11407161

Military Defense Industry Technology - M777A2
 
U.S. Marines test new M776 Chrome Tube for 155mm M777A2 Lightweight Towed Howitzer.
U.S. Marines with 3rd Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment, fired six Pilot Production M776 Chrome Tubes for the 155mm M777A2 Lightweight Towed Howitzer in the Lead Mountain Training Area aboard the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, California, on May 3, 2016.
     
U.S. Marines with 3rd Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment, fired six Pilot Production M776 Chrome Tubes for the 155mm M777A2 Lightweight Towed Howitzer in the Lead Mountain Training Area aboard the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, California, on May 3, 2016. Conqueror Battery, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division Soldiers fire their M777A2 during exercise Hustler Trough III at Oro Grande Range, N.M., May 23. Photo by Abigail Waldrop/Fort Bliss Public Affairs
     

The experimental firing was conducted as part of an ongoing 18-month acquisition program agreement with the Program Manager Towed Artillery Systems (PM TAS) of Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey, to evaluate the chrome-plated barrels prior to making a decision to go into full-rate production.

The firing exercise was focused on the ability of the M776 Chrome Tubes to resist the formation of hardened downbore residue when firing the M232A1 Propelling Charge 5H (top zone charges).

“The chrome tube was procured in limited quantities as part of an 18-month Field Data Collection Program with USMC and Army units,” said Chris Hatch, M777A2 Howitzer Product Director.

“PM TAS wanted to ensure the chrome tubes would perform well in a realistic operational scenario prior to the USMC or Army investing millions of dollars for upgrading the fleet. There were six M776 chrome tubes fielded to the Marine Corps at Twentynine Palms,” Hatch said.

Currently, the Marine Corps and Army utilize a steel barrel for their howitzers. This new design incorporates a chrome plating, which helps to extend the life of the tube by two to three times and has prevented buildup of residue within the bore during controlled testing. This allows the gun to fire top-zone charges in succession without the need to fire a lower-zone charge to clean out the barrel, a requirement for the legacy steel barrel.

The chrome-lined tubes have shown numerous advantages, in both cleaning and durability, over their legacy steel counterparts.

The M776 Chrome Tube was designed by Benet Laboratories with US Army Armament Research, Development, and Engineering Center and manufactured by Tank-automotive Armament Command at Watervliet Arsenal.
 

 

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