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Raytheon Awarded $220 Million Contract to Produce Excalibur Guided Artillery Projectiles

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Raytheon Awarded $220 Million Contract to Produce Excalibur Guided Artillery Projectiles

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The U.S. Marine Corps prepare an Excalibur® 155 mm projectile round on Fire Base Bell, Iraq, while conducting fire missions. (Photo by U.S. Marine Corps)
The U.S. Marine Corps prepare an Excalibur® 155 mm projectile round on Fire Base Bell, Iraq, while conducting fire missions. (Photo by U.S. Marine Corps)

Raytheon Co. Missile Systems, Tuscon, Arizona, was awarded a $219,867,079 modification to contract for the production of 155 mm Excalibur Increment Ib projectiles. The M982 Excalibur (previously XM982) 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). Fiscal 2023 Foreign Military Sales (Jordan) funds and fiscal 2023 ammunition procurement, Army funds in the amount of $219,867,079 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Newark, New Jersey, is the contracting activity.

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. 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. Versions that add laser-guidance capability and are designed to be fired from naval guns began testing in 2015. Over 1,400 rounds had been fired in combat.

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M982 Excalibur 155 mm extended-range guided projectiles
M982 Excalibur 155 mm extended-range guided projectiles. (Photo by Raytheon)

There are three versions of the system. Initial development effort was toward Increment I; Milestone C decisions will be made on Increment II and III in FY2013 with a demonstration of those capabilities by 2020.
Increment I has a unitary penetrating warhead for use against stationary targets.
Increment Ia-1: Accelerated development, reduced-range round. Entered service in 2007. (XM982)
Increment Ia-2: Extended-range round with resistance to GPS jamming. (M982)
Increment Ib: Full-capability, reduced-cost, mass-production round. (M982A1)

Self-propelled guns compatible with the Excalibur projectile are the American M109A6 Paladin and M109A7, British AS-90, German PzH 2000, South African G6, and Swedish Archer. Towed guns compatible with the Excalibur projectile are the American M198 and M777 howitzers. According to media, Excalibur ammunition was also used with AHS Krab in 2022 in combat in Ukraine, obtaining range above 50 km. The U.S. Navy had considered using the Excalibur in the Zumwalt-class destroyer’s Advanced Gun System following the cancelation of the Long Range Land Attack Projectile, but the plan was later abandoned.

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