<div style="font-size: 13.3333px;">TWENTYNINE PALMS, CALIFORNIA -- Marines with 3rd Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment, fired six Pilot Production M776 Chrome Tubes for the 155mm M777A2 Lightweight Towed Howitzer in the Lead Mountain Training Area aboard the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, California, on May 3. 
<div style="font-size: 13.3333px;">

<div style="font-size: 13.3333px;">The experimental firing was conducted as part of an ongoing 18-month acquisition program agreement with the Program Manager Towed Artillery Systems (PM TAS) of Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey, to evaluate the chrome-plated barrels prior to making a decision to go into full-rate production.
<div style="font-size: 13.3333px;">

<div style="font-size: 13.3333px;">The firing exercise was focused on the ability of the M776 Chrome Tubes to resist the formation of hardened downbore residue when firing the M232A1 Propelling Charge 5H (top zone charges).
<div style="font-size: 13.3333px;">

<div style="font-size: 13.3333px;">“The chrome tube was procured in limited quantities as part of an 18-month Field Data Collection Program with USMC and Army units,” said Chris Hatch, M777A2 Howitzer Product Director.
<div style="font-size: 13.3333px;">  
<div style="font-size: 13.3333px;">“PM TAS wanted to ensure the chrome tubes would perform well in a realistic operational scenario prior to the USMC or Army investing millions of dollars for upgrading the fleet. There were six M776 chrome tubes fielded to the Marine Corps at Twentynine Palms,” Hatch said.
<div style="font-size: 13.3333px;">

<div style="font-size: 13.3333px;">“ARDEC Benet Labs performed cannon tube inspections onsite at Twentynine Palms, pre and post firing,” said Jeanne Brooks, Assistant Chief Artillery Product Engineering Branch, Launcher Producibility and Sustainment Division. The division is part of the U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC) at Picatinny. 
<div style="font-size: 13.3333px;">

<div style="font-size: 13.3333px;">“In addition, ARDEC has a scope of work with PM TAS to regularly monitor, by inspection, all of the fielded chrome tubes, six with the Marines at Twentynine Palms and two with the U.S. Army at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, over the period of 18 months,” Brooks said. (Eric Kowal contributed to this report.)