The US Army has awarded Raytheon a US$31.8 million contract to produce and deliver 464 Excalibur Ib extended-range precision projectiles – i.e. $68k each.
In full-rate production since mid-2014, Excalibur Ib has revolutionized cannon artillery, making it possible to engage targets precisely at long ranges. Excalibur is the longest-range, most precise, cannon-fired projectile in the world.
“There is growing demand in the international market for Excalibur’s accurate, first-round effects capability,” said Duane Gooden, Raytheon Land Warfare Systems vice president.
“Raytheon has also funded an internal development program aimed at bringing Excalibur’s unprecedented capabilities to the maritime domain.”
To meet the US Navy’s need, Raytheon is developing Excalibur N5, a 5-inch/127 mm variant that uses Ib guidance and navigation unit and an overall re-use of 70 percent of Ib parts and components. Additionally, the N5 uses 99 percent of the Ib system’s software.
In 2015, the company test-fired the N5 at the Yuma Proving Grounds, scoring direct hits on targets more than 20 nautical miles away.
The successful test demonstrated the maturity and low-risk nature of leveraging the Army’s program to quickly field a much-needed, affordable Navy capability.
Excalibur is a precision-guided, extended-range projectile that uses GPS guidance to provide accurate, first-round effects capability in any environment. Its level of precision creates a major reduction in the time, cost and logistical burden associated with using other artillery munitions.
- Combat-proven: Nearly 800 rounds have been fired in combat with exceptional accuracy and lethality
- Precise: The munition consistently strikes less than 2m from a precisely located target
- Responsive: It dramatically reduces mission response time
- Safe: Its precision practically eliminates collateral damage and has been employed within 75m of supported troops
- Affordable: With its first round effects, it reduces total mission cost and time and the user’s logistics burden
- Evolving: Raytheon is adding a laser spot tracker to compensate for target location error, maintain precision in GPS-denied or -degraded environments, and enable engagement of relocated or moving targets
- Entering new markets: With the N5, navies will be able to deliver extended-range, precision naval surface fires.