The Indian Army has tested the newly acquired US-made Excalibur precision-guided artillery ammunition for the first time.
Excalibur ammunition was fired from the M-777 ultra-light howitzers at the Pokhran firing range in the state of Rajasthan.
The test-firing was performed as part of the Indian Army’s training programme. Senior officials from the army witnessed the test-firing exercise.
The Indian Army inducted the Excalibur ammunition in its inventory in October under a government-approved fast track procedure to overcome shortages.
The ammunition provides improved accuracy and can strike targets at an extended range.
According to Indian media sources, the army acquired two types of Excalibur rounds. One variant can hit targets at a distance of 20m and the other can strike at 2m.
In a statement posted on Twitter on 9 December, the US Embassy in India said: “Today adgpi conducted test-firing of the newly acquired US Excalibur precision guided munitions at Pokhran…a new capability that will integrate with the US-origin M777 Ultralight Howitzer.”
The rounds can be fired from the army’s 155mm calibre artillery guns, including the M777s, Bofors, K-9 Vajra, and Dhanush.
The firing also tested a precision-guided kit that is used to ensure the accuracy of the shell striking the target.
Raytheon, the manufacturer of the weapon, stated: “The Excalibur projectile’s precision, coupled with its ability to be integrated on multiple gun systems, enables both the US and its coalition partners to provide overmatch capabilities against land targets in a variety of combat environments.”
The Excalibur munition is used by the US, and international forces, including the Netherlands, India, Sweden, Canada and Australia.