Tech

June 11, 2012

U.S. Marines fire Excalibur from record range in Afghanistan

The U.S. Marine Corps successfully fired two Raytheon Excalibur 155mm precision-guided artillery projectiles from a range of 36 kilometers (22.3 statute miles) in theater.

These shots mark the longest distance the Excalibur round has been fired in combat since its fielding in 2007.

“It is incredible to think about how this capability has evolved with its use over time, and these shots are evidence of that,” said Lt. Col. Mike Milner, U.S. Army Excalibur product manager. “We are continually improving Excalibur’s use in theater.”

With more than 500 rounds fired in theater to date, Excalibur is the revolutionary family of precision projectiles for the U.S. Army and Marine Corps artillery. The Marines have significantly increased the operational use of Excalibur in the last year, firing as many as 32 rounds in one week. By integrating Excalibur into close-combat formations, U.S. forces avoid collateral damage even when warfighters are in close proximity to the target.

“Having true precision artillery that can defeat the targets – and from such a great distance – gives our warfighters the ability to engage these targets that would otherwise be out of reach,” said Michelle Lohmeier, vice president of Land Combat Systems at Raytheon Missile Systems. “Raytheon developed and fielded the world’s first extended-range GPS-guided artillery, and we are proud of the unprecedented precision capability Excalibur gives our warfighters.”

Successfully fielded in 2007, the Excalibur 155mm precision-guided, extended-range projectile is the revolutionary artillery round used in theater today by the U.S. Army and Marine Corps. Using GPS precision guidance technology, Excalibur provides accurate, first round, fire-for-effect capability in an urban setting. Excalibur is considered a true precision weapon, impacting at a radial miss distance of six meters from the target.




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