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Raytheon Co. fired 84 precision-guided Excalibur Ib all up rounds during qualification flight tests at Yuma Proving Ground, Ariz. During the testing, Excalibur Ib exhibited exceptional accuracy, with the majority of the rounds landing within two meters of the target. The tests also certified stringent performance and safety requirements.
"Excalibur achieved new firsts during qualification testing," said Lt. Col. Josh Walsh, the U.S. Army Excalibur program manager. "We demonstrated lethal effects at 50.7km range from the Swedish Archer weapon system while the U.S. gun systems reached 40.54km – exceeding objective requirements."
The Excalibur Ib is a precision-guided artillery projectile based on Raytheon's combat-proven Excalibur Ia-1 and Ia-2. Excalibur is a 155mm precision-guided, extended-range projectile that uses GPS precision guidance to provide accurate, first round, fire-for-effect capability in any environment.
The test series included qualification on the Swedish Archer 52-caliber weapons system and two U.S. Army howitzers, the Paladin and LW 155. Future testing this year will include a First Article Test, which will verify Excalibur Ib production readiness.
"Excalibur Ib will provide the warfighter with the most accurate, extended-range artillery option," said Michelle Lohmeier, vice president of Raytheon Missile Systems' Land Warfare Systems product line. "This updated round will provide the soldier in the field with greater range, increased accuracy and less collateral damage."
In addition to the Ib variant, Raytheon has initiated internally funded programs to enhance its combat proven 155mm Excalibur GPS-guided projectile with new guidance and navigation capabilities. The success of the Ib qualification testing propels Excalibur into the next generation of precision-guided artillery and forms the basis for new variants.
With more than 690 rounds fired in theater to date, Excalibur is the revolutionary precision projectile for the U.S. Army and Marines. By using Excalibur's level of precision, there is a major reduction in the time, cost and logistical burden traditionally associated with using artillery munitions. Analyses have shown that on average it takes 10 to 50 conventional munitions to accomplish what one Excalibur can.