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Increased Lethality, Accuracy for Indian Army Artillery with Excalibur Munition

Published Dec 10, 2019
Updated Feb 06, 2020

The induction of this ammunition will enable the Indian artillery to optimise the induction of the M 777 light howitzer provided by the BAE Systems recently.

Indian Army fired the American-origin Excalibur guided long-range artillery ammunition from the M-777 ultra-light howitzers in the Pokhran firing ranges which was witnessed by Director General Artillery Lieutenant General Ravi Prasad on 10 December.

As per the manufacturer, Raytheon, Excalibur projectile is a true precision weapon, impacting at a radial miss distance of less than two meters from the target. Unlike “near precision” guidance systems, the Excalibur weapon provides accurate first-round effects at all ranges in all weather conditions. This weapon system also extends the reach of .39-caliber artillery to 40 km and .52-caliber artillery to more than 50 km. By using the Excalibur projectile’s level of precision, there is a dramatic reduction in the time, cost and logistical burden associated with other artillery munitions.

Analyses have shown that on average, it can take at least 10 conventional munitions to accomplish what one Excalibur weapon can. 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. 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 to provide overmatch capabilities against land targets in a variety of combat environments. .

Raytheon has developed the Excalibur Shaped Trajectory, or EST, variant that will enable soldiers to eliminate targets in hard-to-reach locations by selecting the projectile’s terminal or final phase attack angle. It was successfully tested in 2018 and is now being deployed to U.S. forces.

The company is also developing a laser-guided version of the projectile, the Excalibur S. This variant incorporates a digital semi-active laser seeker, allowing it to hit moving targets and engage and strike targets without accurate location information. It also reduces the risk associated with GPS jamming.

The induction of this ammunition will enable the Indian artillery to optimise the induction of the M 777 light howitzer provided by the BAE Systems recently.