The M777 is an ultra light howitzer designed and manufactured by BAE Systems. M777 is a 155mm 39 calibre towed gun which, through proven technology and the innovative use of titanium and aluminium alloys, meets the requirement for rapidly deployable and accurate artillery fire support.The M777 is the world’s first 155mm Howitzer weighing less than 10000 lbs (4218 kg). Selected by the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Army as their next generation Medium Force weapon, designated M777, the gun has undergone an engineering and manufacturing development program in the U.S leading to an initial contract for 94 guns in November 2002. Further U.S. requirement will bring production to over 700 systems. M777 is now in full rate production for the U.S. Armed Forces and is the benchmark for 155mm.
M777A1 : can fire Excalibur munition
M777A2 : can fire Raytheon / Bofors XM982 Excalibur GPS / Inertial Navigation-guided extended-range 155mm projectiles using the Modular Artillery Charge Systems (MACS).
Technical Data :
The M777 matches the firepower of current generation 155mm towed systems at less than half the weight. The Howitzer is equipped with a 39-calibre barrel. The muzzle velocity (at Charge 8 super) is 827m/s.
The lighter weight and smaller size allows the M777 to be transported by USMC MV-22 Osprey, CH-47 helicopter or truck with ease, so that it can be moved in and out of the battlefield more quickly than the M198. The smaller size also improves storage and transport efficiency in military warehouses and Air/Naval Transport. The gun crew required is an Operational Minimum of 5, compared to a previous size of 9. First firing trials of the M777A1 with Excalibur took place in August 2003. First production rounds were delivered in September 2006. Excalibur successfully completed limited user test in March 2007. It was first fielded in Iraq in May 2007 and in Afghanistan in February 2008.
The M777 has a production weight of 3,745kg and can be transported by helicopter, transporter aircraft and ship. The howitzer can be towed by an air-braked 4×4 vehicle greater than 2.5t. The M777 is equipped with two wheels. When the M777 is in the firing position, a firing platform is lowered to the ground under the forward part of the carriage and the wheels are raised clear of the ground.
The M777 uses a digital fire-control system similar to that found on self propelled howitzers such as the M109A6 Paladin to provide navigation, pointing and self-location, allowing it to be put into action more quickly than earlier towed and air-transported howitzers.
|Place of origin||United Kingdom|
|Used by||United States Marine Corps
United States Army
|Weight||4,200 kg (9,300 lb)|
|Length||Combat: 10.7 m (35 ft 1 in)
Travel: 9.5 m (31 ft 2 in)
|Barrel length||5.08 m (16.7 ft)|
|Shell||M107, M795, ERFB, M982|
|Caliber||155 mm (6.1 in)|
|Elevation||0° to +71.7°|
|Rate of fire||Normal: 2 rpm
Maximum: 5 rpm
|Effective firing range||M107: 24 km (14.9 mi)
ERFB: 30km (18.6 mi) base bleed
Excalibur: 40km (25 mi)
- Australia: 35 guns for the Australian Army with an addition of 19 on order.
- Canada: 37 systems
- United States: 1,001 systems, 580 for the Marine Corps and 421 for the Army and Army National Guard, have been ordered. Both the US Army and Marine Corps field a “pure fleet” of M777A2 variants.
- India: The Indian Defence Acquisition Council has cleared the purchase of 145 units of ultra light M777 howitzer guns from USA in October 2016.