Raytheon has announced the successful launch of the new Excalibur S precision-guided munition during a U.S. Navy test, the company reported on Wednesday.
"Artillery is typically used to hit stationary objects, but Excalibur S expands the capability of artillery on the battlefield," said Sam Deneke, Raytheon Land Warfare Systems vice president.
The projectile scored direct hits on moving targets, which proved the projectile's ability to survive the shock and stress of a howitzer firing, then transition from GPS to laser guidance and hit a moving target.
Raytheon has integrated Excalibur Ib GPS technology, a previous iteration of the projectile, into Excalibur S and integrates a new, semi-active laser seekerr, which will engage mobile land and maritime targets at comparable ranges. The company also has the ability to use existing Ib projectiles and upgrate them, utilizing Excalibur S capabilities.
Excalibur is classified as a precision weapon, impacting at a radial miss distance of less than two meters from the target. Widely used by U.S. and international artillery forces, Excalibur has been fired more than 1,400 times in combat.
"Using artillery to engage moving targets gives soldiers more flexibility," added Deneke.
Raytheon has previously awarded the company three, multi-million dollar contracts to encorperate the Excalibur Ib projectile. The most recent, and most valuable was the five-year, $200.2 million contract awarded by the U.S. Army in May 2019.
Rayteon will continue to supply M982A1 Excalibur Ib containerized shells that are designed to engage land targets in a combat environment. Army Contracting Command received one bid for the firm-fixed-price contract via an online solicitation, the Department of Defense (DoD).
Raytheon developed the Excalibur projectile technology with BAE Systems’ Bofors subsidiary.The service branch obligated the full contract amount at the time of award. Work isis expected to finish contract work by April 2024.
Raytheon Company, with 2019 sales of $29 billion and 70,000 employees, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, civil government and cybersecurity solutions. With a history of innovation spanning 98 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration, C5I® products and services, sensing, effects, and mission support for customers in more than 80 countries. Raytheon is headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts.