Excalibur is a true precision weapon, impacting at a radial miss distance of less than two meters from the target. Unlike ‘near precision’ guidance systems, Excalibur provides accurate first-round effects at all ranges in all-weather conditions. This weapon system also extends the reach of .39-calibre artillery to 40 km and .52-calibre artillery to more than 50 km. Excalibur’s precision reduces collateral damage. It’s been employed within 75 metres of supported troops.
By using Excalibur’s level of precision, there is a dramatic reduction in the time, cost and logistical burden associated with other artillery munitions. The reduction includes responsiveness to potential battlefield threats. Analyses have shown that on average, it can take at least 10 conventional munitions to accomplish what one Excalibur can.
Excalibur is compatible with every howitzer with which it’s been tested. This weapon is fully qualified in multiple systems, including the M777, M109 series, M198, the Archer and PzH2000. It’s also compatible with the AS90, K9 and G6 howitzers.
The US Army recently awarded Raytheon a contract to extend production of Excalibur. Sweden, Canada, Australia and the Netherlands are acquiring Excalibur to address vital security interests, and several other international partners are finalising procurement plans.
Raytheon is developing a laser-guided version of the projectile, the Excalibur S. This variant incorporates a digital semi-active laser seeker, allowing it to hit moving targets and engage and strike targets without accurate location information. It also reduces the risk associated with GPS jamming.
The company is also developing a 5-inch variant, the Excalibur N5. This sea-based projectile is expected to more than double the maximum range of conventional 5-inch munitions and will provide the same accuracy as the land-based version. Excalibur is co-developed by Raytheon Company and BAE Systems Bofors.