In a company-funded R&D initiative, Raytheon Company successfully fired the dual-mode GPS- and laser-guided Excalibur S for the first time. Although the Excalibur S was initialized with a GPS target location, it scored a direct hit on a different, or offset, target after being terminally guided with a laser designator.
The new variant incorporates a laser spot tracker (LST) into the combat-proven Excalibur Ib projectile, the world’s most precise GPS guided 155mm artillery projectile now in production for the U.S. Army and several international customers.
“The performance of Excalibur S is very impressive and I am extremely encouraged by Raytheon’s commitment to the next generation of Excalibur,” said Lieutenant Colonel Josh Walsh, U.S. Army Excalibur Product Manager.
This test validated the LST’s ability to survive the forces of firing from a 155mm howitzer and then successfully hand off from the GPS to guide to a laser spot on the designated target.
The Raytheon-funded Excalibur S builds on the proven, GPS-guided Excalibur Ib variant. The addition of the LST will enable the warfighter to attack moving targets, engage targets that have re-positioned after firing, or change the impact point to further avoid casualties and collateral damage.
“The significance of this new capability cannot be understated,” said Michelle Lohmeier, vice president of Raytheon Missile Systems’ Land Warfare Systems product line. “A laser-guided variant of Excalibur gives the warfighter a precision weapon that accommodates target location errors, allows continued target attack when GPS is degraded or denied, and hit targets on the move at extended ranges.”
Excalibur S also paves the way for Excalibur Ib customers to upgrade their Excalibur Ib guidance and navigation units with GPS and LST capability. Several international customers have expressed strong interest in Excalibur S, and this same capability can also be incorporated into the 5-inch Excalibur naval variant, Excalibur N5, the company is developing.
Raytheon is planning a live fire demonstration of the Excalibur N5 later this year.
Excalibur is a revolutionary precision guided projectile that provides warfighters a first round effects capability in nearly any environment. Excalibur is cannon artillery’s only long range true precision weapon.
- Combat proven: Nearly 750 Excalibur rounds have been fired in combat
- Precise: Excalibur consistently strikes less than two meters from a precisely-located target
- Responsive: Excalibur dramatically reduces mission response time
- Safe: Excalibur’s precision practically eliminates collateral damage and has been employed within 75 meters of supported troops
- Affordable: Excalibur’s first round effects reduces total mission cost and the user’s logistics burden
- Growing: With Excalibur S, Raytheon adds a Laser Spot Tracker to mitigate target location error and enable engagement of moving targets
- Entering New Markets: With Excalibur N5, a five-inch naval variant, navies will be able to deliver extended range, precision naval surface fires
Excalibur is a cooperative program between Raytheon and BAE Systems Bofors.
Raytheon Company, with 2013 sales of $24 billion and 63,000 employees worldwide, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, security and civil markets throughout the world. Raytheon is headquartered in Waltham, Mass.