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Raytheon Co. has been awarded a $265.8 M US Army contract modification that expands the capability of the Excalibur program to meet the war fighter needs of both the US Army and the Kingdom of Sweden (KOS). The program modification merges the guidance development of Raytheon's on-going Excalibur program with the airframe concepts developed by Bofors Defense of Sweden, a subsidiary of United Defense Industries, as part of the US-Swedish Trajectory Corrected Munitions (TCM) program.
The revised Excalibur program responds to the need for precision-guided projectiles for the US Army's Future Combat System Cannon (FCS-Cannon). The Excalibur program will be in a position to enhance the performance of near-term Army platforms, to respond to Objective Force indirect fire requirements, and to encompass unique operational requirements for the Swedish Army. The KOS has agreed to contribute $57 M to the Excalibur program.
Excalibur is a member of the family of precision-guided projectiles under development at Raytheon. Other programs include the US Navy's 127 mm Extended Range Guided Munitions (ERGM) and the 155 mm Advanced Gun System (AGS), Long Range Attack Projectile (LRLAP). These products dramatically improve both the accuracy and the effectiveness of gun-launched artillery through the incorporation of a tightly coupled global positioning system/inertial measurement unit (GPS/IMU) guidance package that allows targets to be hit with the accuracy demonstrated by air-launch weapons in recent conflicts. A recent ERGM guided gunfire test at White Sands Missile Range, NM, flew over 70 km and hit within four meters of the aim point - demonstrating capabilities long desired for Marine Corps units ashore.
The revised Excalibur program provides for a robust development and test program that addresses Army lessons learned on other gun-launched development programs. "By planning a robust test program at both the subsystem and system level and allowing for multiple system iterations, we have put together a program that will provide a reliable and accurate projectile for the war fighter," said Lt. Col. Jeffrey Wilson, Excalibur product manager. "Additionally, together with Raytheon, Bofors and its teammates, we will continue to drive down the cost of the projectile through a series of structured Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DFMA) initiatives. By combining the needs of the US and Swedish Army at this point in time, and the capability of industry from both countries, we will provide the war fighter with an extremely capable weapon by leveraging the development expertise and funding from both nations." Both countries have signed a Memorandum of Agreement that will allow for a cooperative program between both the KOS and the US Government.