"Not only can the M777 float like a butterfly, it can also sting like a train wreck. The UFH boasts a barrel length of 39 calibers and requires a crew of seven to operate at full capacity. It can even fire with a reduced crew of five if necessary. Muzzle velocity (at Charge 8 Super) is 827 m/s, and the barrel life goes up to 2,650 firings. With rocket-assisted projectiles (RAP), the M777 maximum range is 30km. Unassisted, its maximum range is 24.7km. It can pump out 5 rounds per minute, with a sustained rate of 2 rounds per minute.
In the dead of night or the thick of a storm, the M777 can fire its massive artillery with accurate precision - directly or indirectly - thanks to its optical fire control system, which is digitally compatible. A killer feature is its compatibility with the new Raytheon XM982 Excalibur GPS/Inertial Navigation-guided extended range 155mm projectiles. These babies have a maximum range of 40km and a circular error probability (CEP) of 10m. Now that's precision. Initial testing of the Excalibur was in August of 2003, and initial fielding is expected for 2006.
Also in on the action is General Dynamics, which has developed the towed artillery digitization system especially for the M777. This digital fire control system matches the fire control capabilities on many modern self-propelled artillery pieces. An example is the M109A6 Paladin, which features automatic gun positioning, automotive improvements and driver night vision equipment. Similarly, the M777's TAD provides onboard ballistic computation, navigation, pointing and self-location, making for greater accuracy. Electric drives, elevation gears, and a powered projectile rammer are also loaded on the TAD, to reduce crew fatigue and increase reaction times. Last but not least, General Dynamics has given the TAD a laser ignition system to power this massive force."