Is Tube Artillery a Viable Fire Support Platform for the United States Military on the Battlefields of the Future
Air War College, Air University Maxwell AFB United States
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Historically, tube artillery has been the primary fire support platform in the United States military due to its all-weather responsiveness, superior ability to mass fires and suppress targets, and the devastating effects it has on enemy forces making it the biggest killer on the battlefield. However, the evolution of weaponry technology and the advent of precision guided munitions PGMs, multiple launch rocket systems, and unmanned aerial vehicles has served to diminish and undervalue tube artillery in the United States military present day. This treatise will examine the use of PGMs, the evolution of howitzer employment, and the marginalization of the field artillery branch in recent conflicts relative to other fire support weapon systems and assess how in order to remain a vital, cost-effective, fire support platform, tube artillery must continue to improve its mobility, range, and accuracy, and ultimately earn the confidence of maneuver element commanders to employ it when troops are in contact and lives are on the line.
- Guided Munitions