Ultra-long-range gun SLRC: real project or pure science?

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Ultra-long-range gun SLRC: real project or pure science?

SLRC project poster shown a few days ago. Photo Twitter.com/lfx160219

In the field of barrel artillery, a new revolution is planned. The U.S. Army launched a project for a promising artillery system capable of hitting targets at ranges of at least 1000 nautical miles (1852 km). A project called Strategic Long Range Cannon (SLRC) is now in its early stages, but its first results are promised already in 2023. In the meantime, developers announce some plans and show different materials.

First statements


The issue of deep modernization of rocket and barrel artillery has been worked out in the United States for a long time, but last year it became known that there were more than bold plans. In October 2019, the head of the artillery modernization program, Colonel John Rafferty, spoke about the promising SLRC program.



The colonel said that several Pentagon research organizations are currently working on finding the solutions needed to create an ultra-long-range gun. In the near future it is planned to create a prototype of such a product and test it at the test site. The first firing so far relates to 2023.

This will be a preliminary check, the results of which are going to determine the real prospects of the project. If the results are of interest to the army, the project will be developed and will lead to the emergence of a full-fledged combat-capable SLRC gun. However, confidence in this outcome is still lacking. In particular, it is not entirely clear whether it will be possible to keep the cost of the gun at an acceptable level.

First image


February 20, 2020 at the Aberdeen Proving Ground a joint event of the US and UK armies US-UK Modernization Demonstration Event was held, dedicated to issues of mutual assistance and further development. During this event, a poster was presented with the main provisions of the SLRC project. Models of artillery systems, including unknown sample. Photographs of the poster and layout quickly became public.


Models of artillery. In the center is an unknown weapon. Photo Twitter.com/lfx160219

The poster presents the main goals and objectives of the program, the expected characteristics and principles of operation, as well as an image of the entire system and its ammunition. The poster pretty much supplemented the existing data, although it did not reveal all the details.

The SLRC artillery complex is seen as a means of breaking through the defense of A2 / AD and breaking through "gaps" for further actions by the armed forces. A system is proposed that includes a tractor, a conveyor platform with a gun, a projectile and a propelling charge. The calculation of the gun will include 8 people. The guns are proposed to be reduced to batteries of 4 units. Range of fire - more than 1000 miles. It must be possible to transport by air or by sea.

The graphic on the poster shows a certain shell of standard contours with tail plumage. The drawn artillery complex combined a modern tractor and a large-caliber gun of the late XNUMXth century. Obviously, the SLRC project has not yet reached the stages when the appearance of the complex is known or can be shown even at a private event.

The model from the exhibition depicts an artillery system with a gun carriage without its own move. It has a barrel of obscure caliber, mounted using a farm. Any parameters of such a sample are unknown. It is also unclear whether this layout is related to the SLRC program.

Range Issues


The objective of the SLRC project is to create a mobile gun with a "strategic" firing range of at least 1850 km. For comparison, modern serial artillery has a range of not more than 40-45 km, depending on the projectile used. Systems with a range of 70-80 km or more are being developed, but they are still far from being adopted. You can also recall the legendary “Paris Cannon”, which hit 120-130 km, or the projects of J. Bull with an estimated range of 1000 km.


Experienced M777ER gun. Its range is higher than that of serial samples, but does not even reach 100 miles. Photo US Army

Increasing the firing range is a very difficult engineering task and requires the use of a number of technologies and design solutions. Which of them and in what combination will allow you to get a range of 1000 miles is a big question. Moreover, there is reason to doubt the fundamental possibility of creating such a system based on available or promising technologies.

Apparently, the Pentagon understands this and build their plans accordingly. The goal of the SLRC program so far is to create a prototype technology demonstrator that combines several solutions. His tests will show whether further growth of the characteristics to the indicated values ​​is possible. If such results are not obtained, the work will probably stop or the project will be transformed into something new.

Technology required


Several basic technical solutions are known to increase the range of the artillery. All of them are already being used in serial and promising samples, including US developments. In particular, the development of the ERCA project has been ongoing for several years, the result of which has already become a towed and self-propelled howitzer guns with a range of at least 70 km. In the future, they intend to bring the range to 90-100 km.

One of the main ways to increase the range is to refine the gun by lengthening the barrel. Larger caliber systems also have some potential in this context. One should recall the multi-chamber architecture of the gun. All these solutions allow the projectile to report more energy and, accordingly, increase its range.

An alternative to existing systems on artillery gunpowders can be the so-called. light gas guns or electromagnetic accelerators. Such systems have high potential, but so far have not shown it outside the boundaries of polygons. In addition, they are not without significant shortcomings.


Experienced self-propelled guns XM1299 with an ERCA gun. Perhaps the result of the SLRC will look similar. Photo US Army

However, even a highly efficient gun will not be able to send a “simple” shell to the desired distance of 1000 miles, and it needs some help from the ammunition. A common way to increase range is to use active rockets. Own engine provides the projectile with additional acceleration after exiting the barrel and increases flight range. Distribution received solid-propellant rockets. New ammunition with direct-flow power plant is also being developed.

Due to the long range and duration of the flight, the projectile needs a homing system - otherwise, accurate shooting is out of the question. In this case, special requirements arise for the stability of systems. GOS should remain operational after a powerful push during acceleration in the trunk and during flight along the trajectory.

Maximum difficulty, minimum result.


The result is a very interesting situation. The artillery complex with a high-energy weapon and a special active-reactive guided projectile will allow approaching the desired characteristics. At the same time, the main contribution to the increase in range will make the ammunition non-standard for artillery design.

Thus, instead of an ultra-long-range gun, a specific ground-to-ground missile system looms. Its main feature is an unreasonably complex launcher, which has the features of a barrel artillery system. The advantage of the gun could be the lower cost of the projectile compared to missiles, but its ammunition, created according to special requirements, will not work out simple and cheap.

In general, the SLRC program is not optimistic. Obtaining desired characteristics using known technologies is either impossible or extremely difficult and economically disadvantageous. In addition, the proposed gun has no real advantages over missile systems with similar characteristics.

Reasons and Benefits


The dubious nature of the SLRC program is already visible at the first review, but the Pentagon continues to work. This raises relevant questions, and several answers can be found.


A shot for tens of kilometers - but not for a thousand miles. Photo US Army

The SLRC program can be seen as an attempt to explore the capabilities of industry and the potential of technology. It is unlikely that it will lead to the creation of a combat-capable ultra-long-range gun, but new developments can be used to develop existing structures or to create new ones. It is possible that the future experience of current army programs and fleet will be combined to create a new project.

Of particular interest is the proposed strategic gun concept. The SLRC-type gun will be able to work in remote and well-concealed positions, striking targets at great depths of defense. Fighting such a firearms can be extremely difficult for a potential enemy. The detection and destruction of a mobile artillery installation will not be a simple process, and the effective interception of shells is generally not possible. However, the creation of an artillery system with all these qualities is also unlikely.

Until recently, the SLRC gun could be a convenient way to circumvent the terms of the INF Treaty. Such an artillery system could take on the tasks of short-range missiles - not having a direct relationship to them. However, the Treaty ceased to exist, and now there is no sense in developing a gun for replacing missiles.

Waiting for a result


While the Strategic Long Range Cannon program is at its earliest stages, and participating organizations are engaged only in research. However, already in 2023, the Pentagon promises to bring an experimental cannon demonstrating technology for testing. It will show the possibility of firing at 1000 nautical miles - or demonstrate the impossibility of obtaining such results.

Real conclusions about the results of the SLRC program can only be made in a few years. In the meantime, American scientists and engineers have enough time to find the necessary solutions and create an ultra-long-range gun. Or to abandon an overly complex program without obvious results.
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  1. +15
    February 27 2020
    "Saw Shura, she is golden ..." fellow
    1. 0
      February 28 2020
      Herods, who’s broken a mock-up of a gun? am
      Eh, everywhere a mess, not only with us ...
    2. 0
      7 May 2020
      There is no certainty that it will be possible to keep the cost of the project at least within some framework. After all, we are talking about the US military-industrial complex. So far, it has never been possible to keep the value at a previously named level. As for the cannon itself, I’ve been talking about ultra-long-range systems for about 10 years. But not a single working sample has been seen so far. I suspect, again, the United States wants to cover the hole with a loud PR in the most interesting place.
  2. +11
    February 27 2020
    Well here's a clean drank budget. All the sores of ultra-long-range artillery from the time of Kaiser Wilhelm and DorЫ’s trumpet are known even to simple couch enthusiasts of the theme.
    1. +7
      February 27 2020
      I do not quite agree that this drank the budget.
      This is R&D, R&D does not have to be 100% successful, it is an investment in research and testing of new technologies. It is R&D in the military-industrial complex that is often the engine of technological development of both industries and the country.
      So, the investment of Americans in this development cannot be called a drink, on the contrary, the solution to this problem is very interesting from the point of view of both design and technology.
      1. 0
        February 27 2020
        Nothing interesting, put a few tons of gunpowder, wad, Dagger into the barrel.
  3. 0
    February 27 2020
    Yeah! The Pentagon generals are notably sawing a budget. Considering that US military spending is 10 times more than Russia's military spending, they saw so much that Serdyukov seems to be a petty thief, picking a trifle. Well, if in fact, it’s impossible to create a weapon with such a range at a reasonable price and mobility. Not without reason, according to the WWII experience, the largest caliber for guns is 155 mm, since guns of a larger caliber are too limited and extremely expensive. It’s cheaper and easier to bomb an object from the air than to build monsters with a caliber of more than 155 mm for this. And the presence of 152/155 mm shells with nuclear filling also made senseless increase in caliber to increase the power of the shell.
    1. -1
      February 27 2020
      As far as I remember, the largest caliber in the modern army is 203 mm. This is for guns, mortars are also 240 mm. And we are talking exclusively about serial devices like self-propelled guns M110.
      1. +2
        February 27 2020
        This is the development of the 50s, when they still could not shove nuclear stuffing in 152/155-mm shells. With the advent of nuclear shells with a caliber of 152/155 mm, the meaning of developing and producing larger-caliber guns disappeared.
  4. +2
    February 27 2020
    In the field of barrel artillery, a new revolution is planned. The U.S. Army launched a project for a promising artillery system capable of hitting targets at ranges of at least 1000 nautical miles (1852 km).

    The topic is "beautiful" in all respects, real or just monetary ??? but who can take them apart.
  5. +2
    February 27 2020
    German super long-range gun.
    The gun had a total length of 124 m, caliber 150 mm, weight 76 tons. The HDP gun barrel consisted of 32 sections 4,48 m long; each section had two charging chambers located along the barrel and at an angle to it (a total of 60 side charging chambers).
    The gun designer is August Könders, Chief Engineer at the Rohling (Stahlwerke Röchling-Buderus Aktiengesellschaft) factories.
    The gun used a swept feathered projectile weighing up to 140 kg and a length of 3250 mm. The explosive charge in the projectile was about 25 kg. The flight range of the swept projectile according to calculations reached 165 km.

    VO already wrote about her. https://topwar.ru/21391-oruzhie-vozmezdiya-obrazec-3-sverhdalnyaya-nemeckaya-mnogokamernaya-pushka-kalibra-150mm-hochdruckpumpe.html
    All the buzz - nothing came of it!
    1. +1
      February 27 2020
      Here the most important thing is to put the big Schultz into Big Berta correctly.
  6. +6
    February 27 2020
    I remember Zumvolt and 155 shells with a cost of about 800 thousand Baku, but here they tell us about 1800. IMHO will not take off.
  7. +2
    February 27 2020
    Oh, these dreams, Pintogon's dreamers ..... laughing lol
    They would rather have ordered an NOCR for a homing fly swatter. wassat
  8. +4
    February 27 2020
    ABOUT! Another prodigy! Ha! Then they have all the problems of thermonuclear fusion solved, only another 20-50 years and everyone will be happy from scientists from Aglitz! Give me the current! Give! Give me money! And don’t just give, but give a couple of hundred yards!
    Heh! Well, just like Hadji Nasreddin. In 50 years, either the Sultan will die or the donkey will die!
    Hehe!
  9. +3
    February 27 2020
    Well, Shaw to tell you about "THIS"? what Yes, I will not say a "roll"! tongue What can I say when in the head only this: wassat ? (Is this a weapon? But how is it different from a rocket launcher? Is it a rocket launcher? Then why call it an "art gun"? Questions ... questions ... unanswered questions! fool )
    1. +5
      February 27 2020
      And I invented, invented! fellow Jules Verne helped me! We have "abandoned" missile bases! "Empty" missile silos! Assigning a missile silo to a gun barrel! We get the "Mega-gun"! The "mega-gun" will be loaded from the "muzzle" ... The loading mechanism may be "on the surface"! "I hammered ... the charge into the gun is tight ...."; that is, we lower the charge in caps and the "super.projectile" into the "shaft-shaft"! Yes kaaak ... bang! The main thing is that the projectile reaches the satellite height! Tady, the projectile becomes a "munition satellite"! In the right place, in the earth's orbit, the "munition satellite" leaves orbit and falls to the ground !!! good While the "super. Projectile-satellite-ammunition" is selected into orbit ... while it moves in orbit ....; at this time "mega-gun" again - "baaah"! Benefits-cart and small cart! Look: "performance" (rate of fire) (compared to ICBMs ...) -vo! fellow Cost is ... negative The missile limitation agreement does not fit! stop Urgently give me a patent for the idea!
      1. +5
        February 27 2020
        Quote: Nikolaevich I
        Urgently give me a patent for the idea!

        Late - Gerald Bull was doing this in the last century. First there was the "HARP project" - the launch of satellites into low orbits using guns.

        And then - "Project Babylon" - an ultra-long-range gun and, again, the withdrawal of satellites.
        1. +2
          February 27 2020
          Quote: Alexey RA
          First there was the "HARP project" - the launching of satellites into low orbits using weapons.

          Quote: Alexey RA
          And then - "Project Babylon" - an ultra-long-range gun and, again, the withdrawal of satellites.

          It's a pity ... But my idea has an "original component" (!) ...: the use of missile silos as "gun barrels"! wink And as for Jules Verne, the term of patent ownership has long expired ... tongue
        2. 0
          February 27 2020
          Ahead, I also immediately remembered Byull.
          1. 0
            February 27 2020
            Quote: Bersaglieri
            Ahead, I also immediately remembered Byull.

            Well, this is a classic - about him, EMNIP, even in "Tekhnika-Molodyozhi" in Soviet times wrote. smile

            In general, he was a versatile person. It was he who became the father of the "long barrel" in divisional artillery, designing 155-mm guns with 45- and 52-caliber barrels (instead of the traditional 39 calibers). And he was a fair cosmopolitan - he worked for Canada, South Africa, China, Iraq.
        3. 0
          February 28 2020
          Quote: Alexey RA
          HARP project


          It also seemed to me that we are talking about creating a mobile version of the High Altitude Research Project (HARP) on new materials and modern technological level.

          The culmination of the project was a 16-inch (406 mm) gun mounted in Barbados (Caribbean).
          The base of the space gun was a ship’s cannon with a caliber of 16 inches (410 millimeters) and a length of 20 meters (65 feet), which were usually installed on naval ships of the battleship class. Later, another barrel was attached to the gun, after which its length became 40 meters (130 feet). The projectile for this gun was a protective capsule for the payload, which disintegrated after the shot, and the container with the cargo, usually with tightly packed electronics, flew to space altitude.
          To improve the ballistics of the projectile, a technical vacuum was created in the barrel before the shot. 180 kilogram shells in a 40 meter barrel were accelerated to a speed of 3600 meters per second. The cannon threw them to a height of 180 kilometers, after which they fell into the ocean. This was not enough to put the satellite into permanent orbit.



          And their modern attempts
          The American company Green Launch at the US Army artillery range in Yuma begins tests to develop ballistic suborbital access to near-earth orbit. For this, the so-called 175-mm / 55 "hydrogen energy satellite gun" will be used, which remained at the test site from the time of the HARP research project. The self-propelled gun M107 was used as a test carriage. (VK Panzerblog)
      2. +1
        February 27 2020
        Quote: Nikolaevich I
        And I invented, invented!
        Ironically, this is the most correct thought (IMHO): working out a weapon method for launching satellites. I would not be surprised if they gash Columbiade.
        1. +1
          February 27 2020
          Well so SHARP
          1. +1
            February 27 2020
            Quote: Bersaglieri
            Well so SHARP
            Strategic Long Range Cannon (SLRC) article claims.
            But it makes sense only if SHARP - I agree.
  10. +2
    February 27 2020
    With the railgun already sawed everything, now there will be a new sawmill.
  11. sen
    -1
    February 27 2020
    I agree that the idea of ​​such a gun is doubtful, but if successful, it can be used with nuclear shells instead of medium-range missiles in the same Europe.
    1. +3
      February 27 2020
      Quote: sen
      if successful, it can be used with nuclear shells instead of medium-range missiles in the same Europe.

      I wonder what it will be better than medium-range missiles with nuclear warheads.
      1. sen
        0
        February 27 2020
        I wonder what it will be better than medium-range missiles with nuclear warheads.

        So such missiles are strictly registered. Again, the United States and we are not going to place them in Europe yet.
        But such a gun is universal. No one knows if she has nuclear shells or not.
        But, again, the idea of ​​such a gun is very doubtful.
        1. +1
          February 27 2020
          Only she, unlike rockets, is completely not mobile.
  12. +3
    February 27 2020
    An instrument with a projectile range, like a cruise missile?
    MEANING???
    Development (most likely unsuccessful) will rise in such an amount that it will be cheaper to pack the enemy with axes in batches.
    Or maybe one "particularly smart" long-range projectile will be more expensive than any ax.
    In short, drank another dough.
  13. +2
    February 27 2020
    Shoot a rocket, it's like a gun.
    I wonder how much money will be stolen on this project before it is closed?
  14. -2
    February 27 2020
    How does it all look like what it was just years ago)) It was only transported not by a tractor but by rail ..
  15. +4
    February 27 2020
    As for me, the Americans needed this development to bypass the INF, such as artillery, and if you dig the missiles under the shells, they inserted them into the barrel and everything is in order, the agreement has not been violated. Scam in one word. But at the moment the Americans withdrew from the agreement, so as for me, this system will remain only for the "drank" of the budget, in principle, let them cut it to us better, if only for this system they would begin to develop some kind of "Zumvolt 2" that would was twice more than the previous one and preferably in the amount of 50 pieces not less.
    1. +1
      February 27 2020
      "Make USN battleships great again!" :)
    2. 0
      February 28 2020
      Quote: Air Force
      some kind of "Zumvolt 2" so that it is twice as large as the previous one and it is desirable
      And Schaub ish zh legam, Schaub immediately crawled out and mustache crap success won wassat wassat wassat
  16. +1
    February 27 2020
    And why is the range of land guns measured not in geographical, but in nautical miles?
    1. +1
      February 27 2020
      why would they not need land, land, they want to bestow the fleet with anything, as practice shows, any shell, even if at least ten missiles of initial speed, will be subsonic after five kilometers, and if it is a rocket, why a gun? Cut it.
      1. 0
        February 28 2020
        Quote: Andrey.AN
        as practice shows, any shell, even if at least ten misses of initial speed, will be subsonic after five kilometers

        no, there’s a chip in the exit of the projectile to the rarefied layers of the atmosphere, due to this, the range is ensured. Well, theoretically hi
        1. +1
          February 28 2020
          roughly speaking, until a pound shell arrives in these layers, it will share kinetic energy with twenty pounds of air, in half with each next pound (streamlining only below the sound barrier) until it reaches these sparse layers, in general, if the initial speed is 512 max, after twenty pounds of air there will be one .
  17. The comment was deleted.
  18. +3
    February 27 2020
    Stupid idea - all the problems were revealed by the Germans in the First World War and during the Second World War on the Dora cannon. Small-scale production of specific projectiles is expensive, the increased load on the barrel leads to its rapid wear and the need to replace it (and this is expensive), the design of any "columbiade" itself is expensive, fragile, low-mobility (relative to other modern weapons), while providing it even with minimal protection complicates and makes the structure heavier, and failure to provide it promises one-time losses from damage or destruction, in general, by cheap means. Also, the design features of such guns (in mobile versions) do not allow for a truly high rate of fire, and the throw weight that will be able to produce a real transported sample (and not some "Dora" that was dragged to the target for weeks) is not so significant. If we are talking about low-power nuclear warheads, such a "shell" will come out not just gold, but even brilliant, given the safe design, ultra-compact charge, accelerators, guidance system .. If about a conventional explosive, we get an extremely expensive toy that requires filigree precision with a lower explosive charge, relative to the same "Tomahawk".

    In general, the idea is so-so for the 21st century - either this is another "cut" of the budget, or the guys are getting used to the cannon method of launching cargo into orbit, or it is a linden tree designed to "spin" us or China into a promising counter ..
  19. -1
    February 27 2020
    Like - with rockets we have a complete bummer in the USA, so let's fire up the good old gun in fear of the enemy laughing
  20. -1
    February 27 2020
    It is entirely possible that it will be used to launch military satellites into low orbit. and for other commercial space related projects. and the range is for generals.
  21. +1
    February 27 2020
    Gerald Bull smiles and waves from the cloud, yeah. Someone will reincarnate him "Project Babylon" :)
  22. +2
    February 27 2020
    Unless a shell flies through space. In general, it is strange as well as the project of creating a tank with supersonic speed.

    In my opinion a ballistic missile:
    - can hit further 1000 miles
    - it will be cheaper
    - already have and do not need to develop
  23. +3
    February 27 2020
    Adolf Aloizych wildly, furiously applauds from the other world. In his style is an idea.
  24. Fat
    -1
    February 27 2020
    I heard about the tools of the engineer Kongreva. What technology has reached the point where an idea is close to reality?
    Not yet. Missiles and long-range and more accurately.
    DRMSD is not valid.
    Bad head money does not give rest?
  25. -2
    February 27 2020
    What caliber? - did not write.
  26. 0
    February 28 2020
    Pffff ... We have such a long time, with a range of 15000 km! R-36M is called (there is a mortar launch, so formally - it corresponds).
    Regarding nuclear artillery: it seemed to me that they had been beaten with the appearance of a sufficient number of carriers, since 5 kg of plutonium was required for a 400 kT projectile and a 10 kT bomb / warhead. Expensively such shells come out (relative to the effect).
    Concerning satellites: do not talk about it to their manufacturers - they will be upset. Satellites are rather fragile (save weight), and you are going to shoot them. If they are tossed something in this way to orbit, then air, water or fuel. But then you need a space tug with good search capabilities (the tank is passive, and the space is large) and maneuver.
  27. 0
    March 1 2020
    So they make the gun)))) It remains to make the ship))) A sort of battleship 21 centuries)))) hahahha
    But seriously, it's interesting to compare:
    1) Efficiency and costs for throwing a mass of 500 kg and a height of up to 40 km from a cannon.
    2) and the same load at the same height with a rocket
    Why am I, the stratosphere is good for the main flight path of a missile projectile, the radio waves pass well, the medium resistance is low, the temperature is very predictable and the same.
    So I see only one reasonable explanation for such a gun, it efficiently and economically throws relatively large loads to great heights, where the projectile already overcomes the main part of its planning by its engine and rudders.
    For example, GBU-39 with 10 km is planning on a range of over 100 km, and this is without an engine. And while falling, quite serious speed is gained and again without engines.
    There are suspicions that working with a coordinate system such a gun will be more effective than OTRK (price-quality ....... range and mass of warheads), but it is much more limited in terms of carrier platforms
  28. 0
    March 1 2020
    500 million Begum, Jules Verne- did someone in the Pentagon read this book?
  29. 0
    11 May 2020
    Grandmas sawing ... bully
  30. 0
    August 22 2020
    It is quite obvious that no practical implementation is planned. The age of gigantic weapons is long gone.
  31. 0
    11 May 2022
    About the price of the projectile, there is not even a hint.

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