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    A United States Army's self-propelled howitzer

    US Starts Production of Upgraded Self-Propelled Howitzer

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    The US Army has initiated production of modernized Self-Propelled Howitzers (SPH), one of the most important components of its artillery fleet.

    The new howitzers are distinct from towed howitzers in that the cannon is mounted onto a mobile vehicle, making it superficially resemble a tank with a gigantic gun. Depending on the vehicle's external coating, it can be considered an armored fighting vehicle. The SPH is generally used for providing long-range indirect and direct fire support, but the advantages presented by its maneuverability give field commanders more flexibility to execute different tactics. One such tactic is known as ‘shoot-and-scoot,' whereby the howitzer fires off a salvo of projectiles before immediately relocating to avoid counter-battery fire from hostile artillery.

    Part of the motivation for the new piece of military equipment, on which development began in 2011, is that "the Russians can outgun us and shoot farther" with the 2S35 Koalitsiya-SV, former US Army Maj. Gen. David Basset told Scout Warrior last fall. The first batch of Koalitsiya-SV howitzers is slated to join the Russian Ground Forces in 2020, the Russian Ministry of Defense has said.

    The self-propelled Koalitsiya-SV artillery unit has a range of more than 43 miles, according to Business Insider, and can fire 15-20 projectiles, the National Interest has reported. The new US Army SPH will be able to fire four rounds for the first three minutes of shooting and one round per minute over a sustained firing period, according to the Pentagon.

    US officials hope to eventually enable the howitzer to strike targets 43 miles away, Scout Warrior noted.

    The new howitzers will be much faster than the previous-generation SPH, also known as the Paladin, which is "the slowest vehicle in the US Army," Basset said.

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    artillery vehicle, howitzers, US Army, United States
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