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Land Warfare

NORA prepares to ship out for shoot-off

14th April 2021 - 14:15 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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NORA B-52 M21 fires in an April 2021 accuracy test. (Photo: Global Ordnance)

Serbian self-propelled howitzer will compete in US Army shoot-off.

The US Army is poised to evaluate the NORA B-52 M21 155mm howitzer, after Serbia-based manufacturer Yugoimport-SDSR and US firm Global Ordnance completed accuracy firing tests before the weapon is shipped out.

NORA will be involved against other types of mobile howitzer in a ‘shoot-off’ evaluation at the Yuma Proving Grounds, to determine which systems best fit US Army requirements.

The self-propelled howitzer was previously ordered by Bangladesh, Cyprus and Serbia, according to Shephard Defence Insight.

In 2018, the US Army announced it was seeking a more mobile, lethal and survivable replacement for its in-service towed M777 howitzers. An RfP followed in July 2020.

‘The best performers may be asked to provide proposals for the production, delivery, fielding, training, and support for use by the United States Army,’ Global Ordnance noted in a 13 April announcement.

The Serbian howitzer will compete against Elbit Systems of America (with ATMOS Iron Sabre), BAE Systems (Archer) and Nexter (Caesar) in the shoot-off.

Interest was also reported (but not confirmed) in late 2020 from South Korea (Hanwha with its K9 Thunder) and Japan (Mitsubishi Type 19 prototype), as well as South Africa (Denel G6 Rhino) and Slovakia (ZTS Dana).

The NORA B-52 M21 being prepared for the US trials has undergone upgrades to its chassis and to the fully automatic loader, to ensure compatibility with US Army propellant charges. 

LTC (ret) John Summers, Global Ordnance director of programmes, said after the latest test: ‘It was an impressive system to see with the upgraded chassis and auto loader upgrade.  The system performed flawlessly through the accuracy firing test.’ 

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