On 14 June, the State Department announced its approval of a potential foreign military sale from Raytheon Company Missile Systems to the Government of Spain. The sale would include M982A1 Excalibur tactical projectiles and associated equipment, with an estimated value of $48.2m.

The M982A1 Excalibur is a 155mm precision-guided, extended-range projectile that employs GPS precision guidance to provide soldiers with accurate, first-round, fire-to-effect capabilities in any environment. These munitions are from Increment Ib, a full-capacity, reduced cost, mass production round that is fully qualified for use in a range of howitzer systems.

At all ranges and in any weather conditions, the Excalibur weapon improves accuracy in first-round impacts, which is highly desirable given an increased focus on counter artillery strikes. This weapon system also increases the range of .39-caliber artillery to 40km, .52-caliber artillery to 50km, and .58-caliber artillery to 70km.

The Spanish Government expressed a desire to procure an extra 153 M982A1 Excalibur tactical projectiles. In an earlier arrangement, estimated to be worth $21.87m, it was agreed that Raytheon would sell 118 Excaliburs were agreed to Spain. With the State Department approval that arrived yesterday, the total size of the deal will now include 271 Excaliburs.

The agreed acquisition includes an array of essential components such as a portable electronic Fire Control System, Improved Platform Integration Kit, Propelling Charge Modular Artillery Charge System, Simple Key Loaders, and support related to collateral damage estimation tables, and other support relating to both logistics and the overall program.

The State Department said that the proposed sale is in the interests of the foreign policy and national security of the United States, and that the move is aimed at enhancing the security of a Nato ally, which is a crucial factor in maintaining political stability and economic growth in Europe. The purchase of the Excalibur by Spain is expected to enhance its interoperability with US forces and other allied forces, thereby strengthening the country’s defence capabilities.