Raytheon’s Excalibur Increment b (Ib) precision-guided, extended-range projectile has been determined by the US Army’s Excalibur Program Office to be fully compatible with the M198 howitzer when used with the modular artillery charge system.
The compatibility is said to enable allied military forces to use the artillery round when firing the M198 medium-sized, towed howitzer.
The munition extends the howitzer’s reach to 50km, while offering an all-weather strike within 2m of the target.
Raytheon Excalibur programme director Mark Hokeness said: "Many of our international partners have an urgent need to address vital security interests, and Excalibur lb meets that need.
"This eliminates the time and cost of further compatibility testing in the M198 howitzer."
A co-development programme between Raytheon and BAE Systems / Bofors, the projectile has been designed to provide accurate, first round fire-for-effect capabilities to the current and future 155mm howitzers in urban environments.
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Based on the combat-proven Excalibur Ia-1 and Ia-2 projectiles, the 155mm precision-guided, extended-range projectile uses GPS precision guidance to offer soldiers an accurate, first-round, fire-for-effect capability in any environment.
Equipped with a non-spinning fixed and fewer parts, the projectile follows a simplified development approach compared with Excalibur Ia, and addresses the army’s objectives for improved reliability at significantly reduced costs.
The projectile has been fielded by the US Army, Marines and several foreign military forces worldwide. To date nearly 770 rounds have been fired in combat.
In addition, Raytheon is developing the Excalibur N5, which will enable navies to provide extended range, precision naval surface fires from existing 5in / 127mm guns.