First time in history – joint French-American artillery exercise
WARSAW, (BM) – According to the U.S. Army Europe and Africa Command, the American artillerymen will conduct test-firing using French Bonus Mk for the first time in history in cooperation with their French counterparts, learned BulgarianMilitary.com citing Defence24.
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According to a communiqué of the American Army, these attempts involve a separate sub-unit of the 4th battalion of the 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment from the 173rd Airborne Brigade. On the French side, soldiers of the 93rd Mountain Artillery Regiment will take part in them. The shooting is to be carried out at the Canjuers military training ground in south-eastern France, as the U.S. troops are to fire a total of four Bonus Mk2 missiles using the 155mm M777A2 ultralight towed howitzer. This exercise will be the end of the week of familiarizing yourself with this ammunition and training in cooperation with French artillerymen.
The American artillerymen who will test these missiles are stationing in Europe, in Vicenza in northeastern Italy. The 173rd Airborne Brigade, which includes their home artillery battalion, is next to the 2nd Cavalry Regiment and the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade stationed in Bavaria, the main permanent base forces of the U.S. Army in Europe. For this reason, subunits of these units are continually training and training with soldiers from the armed forces of other NATO member states. This is also related to ammunition in the armament of the allied armed forces during the shooting, which requires compatibility of the weapon and familiarization with it by the soldiers serving it.
In October 2018, U.S. The Army has agreed with the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) to procurement Bonus 155 mm precision ammunition. The delivery of this batch of ammo was to carry out by 2020, which means that its item should already be in American artillery warehouses. Washington placed another order for Bonuses for the U.S. Army in March 2020.
This ammunition is using by any 155mm barrel artillery system meeting NATO standards, including the ultra-light M777 towed howitzers and the M109 Paladin self-propelled howitzers. Several other NATO and E.U. countries, such as Finland, France, Norway, and Sweden, also decided to acquire this ammunition.
The Bonus Mk2 is a modernized version of the French-Swedish 155mm precision ammunition system developed and produced by the Swedish BAE Systems Bofors in cooperation with the French Nexter Systems. This missile consists of two intelligent sub-missiles that use advanced thermal and laser sensors (so-called ladar/lidar), enabling each of them to independently search for and destroy various targets on an area of 32 thousand m2. Thanks to this, the probability of hitting the target with one shot is much greater than in the case of traditional ammunition. Thanks to this, there is a significantly lower risk of side losses, as in conventional cartridge sub ammunition, while increasing the anti-tank potential.
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