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Home > Exercise News > BONUS SHOCK ~ US Fires Bonus Mk 2 Round In France

BONUS SHOCK ~ US Fires Bonus Mk 2 Round In France

[Screengrab from US Army video by SSgt Jacob Sawyer]

US Army 173rd Airborne Brigade gunners last weekend fired the 155mm Bonus Mk 2 artillery round at Camp Canjuers France during Ex BONUS SHOCK.

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Artillery Paratroopers with 4th Battalion, 319th (Airborne) Field Artillery Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade were the first conventional US Army unit in Europe to fire the BONUS Mark 2 artillery round. French NATO allies in the 93e RAM (93e Régiment d’Artillerie de Montagne) provided critical mentorship and logistical support in Canjuers, France, as the paratroopers executed these fire missions on Sunday 7th March.

According to USAREUR: The Bonus Mk 2 artillery round is a combined French and Swedish produced artillery shell designed to target and destroy stationary and mobile armoured vehicles, such as main battle tanks. It is an autonomous fire and forget all weather 155mm projectile containing 2 top attack sub-munitions. These sub-munitions are ejected over armoured targets, perform a decreasing spiral scan, detect the target, initiate the warhead and then penetrate the target. This round directly bolsters military defence and deterrence in Europe by providing precision, anti-armoured capabilities for conventional artillery units.

[US Army video by SSgt Jacob Sawyer]

During the live fire event, the 4th battalion, 319th AFAR fired four of the artillery rounds from US M777 Howitzers into the artillery impact area of Camp Canjuers. This firing was the culmination of a week-long equipment familiarisation and training exercise between the 4-319th and the 93éme RMA.

The 173rd Airborne Brigade is the US Army’s Contingency Response Force in Europe, providing rapidly deployable forces to the United States’ Europe, Africa and Central Command areas of responsibility. Forward deployed across Italy and Germany, the brigade routinely trains alongside NATO allies and partners to build partnerships and strengthen the alliance.

The M777 is a British 155mm towed howitzer used in Europe by both the US Army and the US Marines – as seen here deployed in Norway in 2018 [©Bob Morrison]
The 155mm howitzer can also take part in direct fire missions – as here with Cobra Battery, Field Artillery Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, Grafenwöhr, 04 February 2021 [US Army: Christoph Koppers]

¤ We were invited to cover Ex BONUS SHOCK but unfortunately flight/travel restrictions and PCR test logistics made undertaking the assignment infeasible.

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