Cannon-launched projectile can now engage moving targets
Raytheon Company’s new Excalibur S precision-guided munition scored direct hits on moving targets in a U.S. Navy test held on Feb 5 at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona. Testing validated 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.
Excalibur S uses the Excalibur Ib variant’s GPS technology and incorporates a semi-active laser seeker to engage mobile land and maritime targets at comparable ranges. Existing Ib projectiles can be upgraded with Excalibur S capabilities.
The U.S. Navy is looking to Raytheon’s Excalibur guided artillery round to replace the Lockheed Martin Long Range Land Attack Projectile (LRLAP) which is designed for Zumwalt class 155mm Advanced Gun Systems. The Lockheed Martin Long Range Land Attack Projectile (LRLAP) rounds are effective and custom-designed for the system. But the US Navy’s planned buy of the 2,000 rocket-assisted guided projectiles was abandoned when the cost of each round rose to about $1 million.
Excalibur is a true 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.