Raytheon has successfully conducted the first live-fire test of its new dual-mode GPS and laser-guided 155mm artillery projectile variant, Excalibur S, as part of a company-funded R&D initiative.
During testing, the Excalibur S was initialised with a GPS target location and then was terminally guided with a laser designator, laser spot tracker (LST) to make a direct hit on a target.
Raytheon Missile Systems land warfare product line vice-president Michelle Lohmeier said: "A laser-guided variant of Excalibur gives the warfighter a precision weapon that accommodates target location errors, allows continued target attack when GPS is degraded or denied, and hit targets on the move at extended ranges."
The Excalibur S is integrated with an LST, which not only enables troops survive the forces of firing from a 155mm howitzer, but also attack moving targets, engage re-positioned targets after firing or change the impact point.
Developed under a cooperative programme between Raytheon and BAE Systems Bofors, Excalibur S testing will now allow Excalibur Ib customers to upgrade their units with GPS and LST capability.
The LST capability can also be incorporated into the 5in Excalibur naval variant, Excalibur N5, which is currently under development and is expected to undergo a live fire demonstration later this year.