The U.S. Army and Raytheon Company successfully fired 30 GPS-guided Excalibur Ib projectiles during an extensive First Article Test series at Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona.
This test series validated performance and reliability of the Excalibur Ib production configuration, and moves the program toward full-rate production.
“Excalibur gives the warfighter a pinpoint precision tool to eliminate enemy threats and is the only combat-proven 155mm precision-guided projectile in the world today,” said Lt. Col. Josh Walsh, the Army’s Excalibur program manager. “This weapon continues to prove itself in testing but, more importantly, it continues to prove itself on the battlefield.”
During the testing, gunners fired Excalibur Ib projectiles from the Paladin and M777 howitzers to various targets at ranges from 7 to 38 kilometers. Average miss distance for the 30 projectiles was 1.6 meters.
“These tests and other recent trials clearly demonstrate Excalibur’s ability to deliver true precision to any 155mm howitzer and the decisive advantage Excalibur provides the warfighter,” said Michelle Lohmeier, vice president of Raytheon’s land warfare systems product line. “The first round effects demonstrated by Excalibur provide an all-weather, immediate response, precision strike capability for the maneuver force. Its efficiency increases operational effectiveness, reduces the unit’s logistics burden and can improve deployability of the force.”
Raytheon has also funded a program to augment its combat-proven 155 mm GPS-guided projectile with a laser spot tracker, giving the weapon a dual-mode GPS/LST guidance capability. The company is planning a live-fire demonstration of the “Excalibur-S” in early 2014. Laser guidance will mitigate target location errors and support attack of mobile targets, and can ensure precision effects when GPS is either degraded or denied.
A promotional video of Raytheon’s Excalibur projectile appears below: