nam wrote: The US requirement is different as in, it requires such rounds to provide on demand CAS for troops in places like Afghanistion. A precision artillery round is cheaper than LGB droppped from an airplane. And ofcourse very high availability as it is a artillery system.
It is actually operating in non-permissive environments that is driving this need. The fact that they cannot count on guaranteed access to A-10s or AH-64s to help out with CAS (and the Air Force is busy establishing Air-Superiority over a region), is leading them down the path of wanting to possess organic capability to extend indirect fires via cannon out to 130-150 km and rockets to the 150-200 km objective in the medium to far term. Similarly, ATACMS replacement ups its range from 300+ to 499 km and with the US leaving the INF, the Army will likely also field more land based systems to match the numerical advantage China enjoys with its Medium-Intermediate ranged missiles in the Pacific. It also reduces logistics if you do not need to put forward multiple system types to get a desired effect at range.