Digital live-fire has successful first trial

Sgt Jean-François Boucher confirms firing data with the Digital Gun Management System during a digital live-fire exercise in Gagetown Training Area.

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The Royal Canadian Artillery School (RCAS) recently celebrated the first digitally integrated, live-shoot fire mission trial, showcasing fast and efficient coordination between the Battery Command Post and the M777 155-mm howitzers.

The ability to conduct digital fire missions is a critical capability, as it allows data to be sent instantly, providing real-time situational awareness to multiple users.

Until recently, missions were sent by the originator (the person wanting to strike a target) to the command post by voice, with the message being read back multiple times and constantly double-checked. The message was then input into computer systems manually to calculate the ballistic solution and relayed to the individual guns, again by voice. The time it took to relay the message left room for errors and further delays. With the introduction of the digital fire mission, the data goes from the originator to the command post in fractions of a second. The command post can then verify and transmit the data to the guns, again in mere moments.

A secondary benefit to this dramatic increase in efficiency is the ability to share this information with other units and allies on land and sea, and in the air, allowing them to assess the information and factor it into their plans. Specifically for the artillery, this also opens the door to conducting fire missions with coalition partners, using similar digital fire mission software to speak to other nations.

The RCAS senior leadership watched as members of Whiskey Battery, the Instructor in Gunnery Course, and newly qualified gunners from the DP 1 Artillerymen course achieved an important digitization benchmark: using a unique suite of artillery-specific software to communicate via a wireless network. This allowed the RCAS to effectively fire multiple 155mm rounds over several fire missions from the M777.

The RCAS will continue to improve its digitization capabilities and advance toward its objectives to modernize artillery training.

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