Raytheon has been awarded a $85,734,819 contract for engineering services for M982 Excalibur long-range precision artillery munitions, a U.S. Department of Defense release said. “Raytheon Missiles Systems, Tucson, Arizona, was awarded a $85,734,819 modification (P00005) to contract W15QKN-19-C-0017 for engineering services to support the 155mm Excalibur program,” the Monday, March 26 release said. Only one bid was solicited. The contract – with an estimated completion date of January 25, 2023 – is apparently for multiple orders and “U.S. Army Contracting Command, New Jersey, is the contracting activity” the release said.
The M982 Excalibur (previously XM982) is a 155 mm extended range guided artillery shell developed during a collaborative effort between the US Army Research Laboratory (ARL) and the United States Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC). The Excalibur was manufactured by prime contractor Raytheon Missile Systems and BAE Systems AB. It is a GPS and inertial-guided munition capable of being used in close support situations within 75–150 metres (246–492 ft) of friendly troops or in situations where targets might be prohibitively close to civilians to attack with conventional unguided artillery fire.
The Excalibur munition is compatible with every howitzer with which it’s been tested. This weapon is fully qualified in multiple systems, including the M777, M109 series, M198, the Archer and PzH2000. It’s also compatible with the AS90, K9 and G6 howitzers. Plans are underway to integrate it with other mobile artillery systems. The Excalibur projectile’s precision, coupled with its ability to be integrated on multiple gun systems, enables both the U.S. and its coalition partners. Sweden, Canada, Australia and the Netherlands have chosen the Excalibur precision-guided projectile to address vital security interests, and several other international partners are finalizing procurement plans.