American Council of Engineering Companies
U.S. Army
Soft Recovery System/Soft Catch Gun (SCat)

Louis Berger provided design and construction services for the $1MM gun at Picatinny Arsenal in the mountains of New Jersey. Using the SCat Gun, developers can subject their designs to actual launch conditions (i.e., high accelerations and spin) and recover the prototypes for physical inspection, bench tests and evaluation critical to the designer/engineer.  The SCat Gun provides the best, most cost-effective method to analyze components by firing and retrieving them, damaging neither projectile nor payload.  Significant cost savings will be realized as all rounds will produce valid data, reducing the amount of live test ammunition and the number of proving ground firings needed.

The 600-foot long SCat Gun is supported on an 8-foot deep, reinforced concrete foundation supported on 55 concrete piers mounted directly on bedrock. The team installed a 155-mm SCat Gun; a new blast-proof firing bunker and an instrumentation shed for this and future guns. The total project cost is approximately $40 million. The SCAT Gun Facility has a $1 million construction cost, including the site work only and one of the five proposed guns.

The ACEC annual Engineering Excellence Awards competition recognizes engineering firms for projects that demonstrate a high degree of innovation, achievement, and value.