Defense

January 30, 2013

An Excalibur’s first flight over Kandahar

Tags:
SSgt. Jason Ragucci
Kandahar, Afghanistan

army-round1
army-round2
Gunners of Bravo Battery, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment, shot an Excalibur round out of a M-777 howitzer cannon for the first time at Forward Operating Base Frontenac, Kandahar, Afghanistan, Jan. 20.

The Excalibur is a separate loading, 155MM, extended-range, precision-guided projectile designed for use with other 155MM digitized Howitzers.

The M-777 is designed to be a digitally programmed weapon and is about 9,800 pounds lighter than the more commonly used M-198 Howitzer, and is reportedly more accurate.
army-round3
The Excalibur is intended to be used against personnel and light material such as command posts and air defense radars. It is guided to its target by the use of global positioning system, or GPS. This type of round on average costs more than $80,000 due to major technological advances within the explosive round.

“They don’t get shot very often due to the high cost,” said SSgt. Ralph Dobrovolny, Bravo Battery, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment, platoon sergeant. “The Excalibur is shot because it is most accurate and causes the least amount of collateral damage and casualties that can be caused by field artillery.”
army-round4
The planning of the Excalibur fire mission took nearly a month. Once the Fire Support Officer located the land for impact, he had to get the proper approval. Lt. Col. Paul Weyrauch, commander of 2nd Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery, finally gave permission for the Gunners of B Battery, to fire the expensive round for the first time at Forward Operating Base Frontenac’s firing point.

The first Excalibur round fired in Afghanistan was with Charlie Battery, 3rd Battalion, 321st Field Artillery Regiment, in Kunar Province, Feb. 25, 2008.

SSgt. Arshun Daniels, 1st Platoon, B Battery, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery, chief of section, prepared his section by conducting “dry” fire missions before the actual live-fire exercise.
army-round5
“I make sure the rounds are right, the powders are right, the fuzes are right and that everybody is doing the right thing, so that my chief can focus more on his job,” said Spec. Michael Arnold, 1st Platoon, B Battery, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery, ammunition team chief.

The GPS-guided Excalibur round was given the proper grid coordinate to seek out and destroy a target using the Enhanced Portable Inductive Artillery Fuse Setter by placing the system on the tip of the round and sending a digital message containing the coordinate for the round to find.

The Excalibur was fired using the M-777A2 155mm howitzer. The firing of the Excalibur round was a high-angle successful mission. The gunners at Forward Operating Base Frontenac are planning to shoot their next Excalibur fire mission soon.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines April 18, 2014

Business: Lockheed to Lose 17 F-35s Under Automatic Pentagon Cuts - Pentagon will cut 17 of the 343 F-35 fighters it planned to buy from Lockheed Martin in fiscal 2016 through 2019 unless Congress repeals automatic budget cuts, according to a new Defense Department report. DOD looking for ways not to break MH-60R helo deal - The...
 
 

News Briefs April 18, 2013

U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan at 2,177 As of April 15, 2014, at least 2,177 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan as a result of the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to an Associated Press count. At least 1,802 military service members have died in Afghanistan as a result...
 
 
LM-F35-hours

F-35 fleet surpasses 15,000 flying hours

The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fleet recently surpassed 15,000 flight hours, marking a major milestone for the program.  “Flying 15,000 hours itself demonstrates that the program is maturing, but what I think is e...
 

 
nasa-cassini

NASA Cassini images may reveal birth of new Saturn moon

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has documented the formation of a small icy object within the rings of Saturn that may be a new moon, and may also provide clues to the formation of the planet’s known moons. Images taken w...
 
 

NASA completes LADEE mission with planned impact on Moon’s surface

Ground controllers at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., have confirmed that NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer spacecraft impacted the surface of the moon, as planned, between 9:30 and 10:22 p.m., PDT, April 17. LADEE lacked fuel to maintain a long-term lunar orbit or continue science operations and was intentionally sent...
 
 
Photograph courtesy of NASA Ames/SETI Institute/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s Kepler telescope discovers first Earth-size planet in ‘habitable zone’

Photograph courtesy of NASA Ames/SETI Institute/JPL-Caltech Kepler-186f resides in the Kepler-186 system about 500 light-years from Earth in the constellation Cygnus. The system is also home to four inner planets, seen lined up...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>