RAYTHEON MOVES EX­CAL­IBUR TO­WARDS FULL-RATE PRO­DUC­TION

SP's LandForces - - SP’S EXCLUSIVES / NEWS IN BRIEF -

Raytheon has com­pleted the ini­tial op­er­a­tional test and eval­u­a­tion (IOT&E) of the US Army’s Ex­cal­ibur In­cre­ment b (Ib) pre­ci­sionguided, ex­tended-range pro­jec­tile dur­ing a se­ries of tests, tak­ing a step for­ward to­wards its full-rate pro­duc­tion. Sev­eral Ex­cal­ibur rounds were fired from the army’s 1st Bat­tal­ion, 5th Field Ar­tillery, with sev­eral hit­ting their tar­gets. US Army Ex­cal­ibur Prod­uct Man­ager Lt. Colonel Josh Walsh said Ex­cal­ibur continues to reach new lev­els in ev­ery test event. Raytheon Mis­sile Sys­tem­sLand War­fare Sys­tems prod­uct line Vice-Pres­i­dent Michelle Lohmeier said: “It is an ex­cel­lent ex­am­ple of a govern­ment-in­dus­try team work­ing to­gether to put a crit­i­cal ca­pa­bil­ity into the hands of our warfight­ers.”

Based on the com­bat-proven Ex­cal­ibur Ia-1 and Ia-2 pro­jec­tiles, Ex­cal­ibur Ib is a 155mm pre­ci­sion-guided, ex­tended-range pro­jec­tile that uses GPS pre­ci­sion guid­ance to of­fer troops an ac­cu­rate, first-round fire-for-ef­fect ca­pa­bil­ity in any en­vi­ron­ment. It fol­lows a sim­pli­fied de­vel­op­ment ap­proach com­pared with Ex­cal­ibur Ia, and ad­dresses the army’s ob­jec­tives for im­proved re­li­a­bil­ity at sig­nif­i­cantly low costs. The full-rate pro­duc­tion de­ci­sion is ex­pected to be an­nounced later this year. Mean­while, Raytheon is also fund­ing a pro­gramme to equip its com­bat-proven GPS-guided pro­jec­tile with a laser-spot tracker, giv­ing the weapon a dual-mode GPS / LST guid­ance ca­pa­bil­ity. The pro­gramme aims to mit­i­gate tar­get lo­ca­tion er­rors and sup­port the at­tack of mo­bile tar­gets while en­sur­ing tar­get pre­ci­sion when the GPS is ei­ther de­graded or de­nied.

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