Murphy's Law: Handle With Care

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May 21,2008: The U.S. Army's new self-propelled artillery (the 155mm NLOS-C) is designed to last for 20 years. During that time, it is expected to travel 1,200 kilometers, and fire 250 shells a year, all in training. If there is a war, the system gets used a lot more heavily, and might easily be worn out or destroyed after a year in a combat zone. This is typical, as most weapons systems never see combat, and are built to deal with the rigors of the battlefield, as well as decades of light peacetime use.

This is not to say that NLOS-C's will be thrown out after twenty years. They will probably be refurbished so that they can serve another decade or more. That has happened to some of the current M-109 self-propelled 155mm guns, which first appeared in the early 1960s.

 


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