Raytheon has completed a contract milestone by firing eight Excalibur Ib precision-guided artillery projectiles during a test.

The test, the first witnessed by US Army officials, was designed to exhibit stable controlled flight and safe muzzle exit. The testing also validated the simulation used to predict the performance of Raytheon’s Excalibur Ib.

All test objectives were met, and Excalibur Ib exceeded ballistic accuracy expectations.

Raytheon’s Excalibur programme director Steve Bennett said that the company had planned well going into the test.

“Raytheon has been able to move rapidly from design to successful test flights in record time. We expect to meet the US Army’s cost objectives and exceed the incredible performance established by Excalibur Ia,” Bennet said.

The Excalibur Ib design is based on Raytheon’s combat-proven Excalibur Ia. The goal of the Excalibur Ib programme is to reduce cost and increase reliability of the projectile. Raytheon’s Excalibur Ib, featuring a new titanium base, uses fewer parts and requires simpler manufacturing. The result is increased reliability and a significantly reduced cost to deliver precision projectiles.