The Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology’s Joint Program Executive Office for Armaments and Ammunition and Army Contracting Command-New Jersey awarded an $84 million contract modification to Raytheon Missiles and Defense for Excalibur 1B projectiles on November 29. The award utilized Tranche Seven funding for more than 1,000 Excalibur 1B projectiles. With the current usage and capabilities in theater, this action continues production of this capability. This rapid contracting action resulted from excellent communication between Headquarters, Dept. of the Army, ACC-NJ, and Defense Pricing and Contracting teammates. The contract action was executed about 75 days after receipt of funds. The Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology’s mission is to continuously modernize the U.S. Army through the timely development and delivery of overmatch capability to deter adversaries and win nation’s wars.
“The Army is focused on acquisition at speed in a responsible manner,” said Mr. Douglas Bush, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology. “That applies to the Army’s support to Ukraine as well as routine program activity – a winning strategy for our Soldiers, America and our allies.”
The M982 Excalibur is a 155 mm extended-range guided artillery shell developed in a collaborative effort between the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) and the United States Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC). The Excalibur was developed and/or manufactured by prime contractor Raytheon Missiles & Defense, BAE Systems AB (BAE Systems Bofors) and other subs and primes in multiple capacities such as Camber Corporation and Huntington Ingalls Industries.
Excalibur was developed as a longer-range alternative to conventional artillery shells, with GPS guidance for improved accuracy. Excalibur has a range of approximately 40 to 57 kilometers (25 to 35 mi) depending on configuration, with a circular error probable (CEP) of four metres (13 ft) while unguided Western artillery shells can land up to 150 metres (490 ft) from the target at a range of 24 km (15 mi). It is a GPS- and inertial-guided munition capable of being used in close support situations within 75–150 meters (250–490 ft) of friendly troops or in situations where targets might be prohibitively close to civilians to attack with conventional unguided artillery fire. Excalibur 1B’s GPS (M982A1) coordinate-seeking capability enables the quick defeat of targets with high precision. While much more expensive at $68,000 per shell compared to a $800 unguided M777 shell, it is less expensive than the $150,000 rocket used in US guided-missile systems like M142 HIMARS and M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System.