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Soviet SU-85 Self Propelled Artillery Vehicle
A Mangonel torsion catapult.
A Trebuchet gravity catapult.

Artillery weapons are designed to launch projectiles at distant targets, using a high-arcing trajectory to shoot over intervening obstacles.

Early forms of artillery used energy stored in leather ropes or gravity to launch projectiles long distances. Artillery became a major force on the battlefield once gunpowder was invented, leading to the creation of cannons and rockets, substantially increasing its effectivness.

Modern artillery weapons can be cannons or rocket-propelled warheads. Artillery weapons are typically deployed in substantial numbers, allowing them to saturate large areas of a battlefield with explosive ordinance. Proper use of artillery requires a forward observer of some kind to locate targets and relay information about their position and movements to the weapon operators.

Artillery in Science Fiction