A new U.S. 155 mm artillery shell is a revolution in precision targeting for use by the Army and Marines, and a similar shell is being developed for the Navy.
The Excalibur Precision Guided Extended Range Artillery Projectile uses GPS guidance and hit 19 of 20 targets in field testing with a hard-to-beat average miss distance of 1.18 meters. A meter equals about 3.28 feet. Too close for comfort if you’re the enemy. Shell goes straight down on targets rather than arcing as traditional shells do.
Unlike â€œnear precisionâ€ guidance systems, Excalibur provides accurate first-round effects at all ranges in all weather condition, Raytheon Company says. This weapon system also extends the reach of .39-caliber artillery to 40 km and .52-caliber artillery to more than 50 km. Excalibur’s precision reduces collateral damage. It’s been employed within 75 meters of supported troops.
Excalibur is compatible with every howitzer with which it’s been tested. This weapon is fully qualified in multiple systems, including the M777, M109 series, M198, the Archer and PzH2000. It’s also compatible with the AS90, K9 and G6 howitzers.
Excalibur is co-developed by Raytheon Company and BAE Systems Bofors.
Watch this Raytheon video, which is literally a blast, and learn more by reading below it:
According to Raytheon:
By using Excalibur’s level of precision, there is a dramatic reduction in the time, cost and logistical burden associated with other artillery munitions. The reduction includes responsiveness to potential battlefield threats. Analyses have shown that on average, it can take at least 10 conventional munitions to accomplish what one Excalibur can.
The company is also developing a 5-inch variant, the Excalibur N5. This sea-based projectile is expected to more than double the maximum range of conventional 5-inch munitions and will provide the same accuracy as the land-based version.
Raytheon also is developing a laser-guided version of the projectile, the Excalibur S. This variant incorporates a digital semi-active laser seeker, allowing it to hit moving targets and engage and strike targets without accurate location information. It also reduces the risk associated with GPS jamming.