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Raytheon unveils Excalibur with dual-mode guidance

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Excalibur 155mm precision-guided, extended-range projectile is the revolutionary artillery round used in theater today by the US Army and Marine Corps. Photo: Raytheon.

PARIS (BNS): Raytheon Company has initiated an internally funded programme to enhance its combat-proven 155mm Excalibur GPS-guided projectile with a new guidance and navigation unit (GNU) with a semi-active laser (SAL) end-game targeting capability.

"No other gun-launched GPS-guided artillery round is as precise as Excalibur, which in its current design gives one the ability to hit within 4 meters of the target 90 percent of the time," Kevin Matthies, Excalibur program director for Raytheon Missile Systems said in a statement issued by the company.

This new Excalibur variant using SAL guidance paves the way for GPS-guided Excalibur Ib customers to upgrade their Excalibur Ib guidance and navigation units with a GPS/SAL capability.

Addition of the SAL seeker will allow the munition to attack moving targets, attack targets that have re-positioned after firing, or change the impact point to avoid casualties and collateral damage.

Recent tests of the SAL seeker have demonstrated the robustness of the design in a severe gun-firing environment.

In addition to 155mm artillery land forces worldwide, the GPS/SAL capability will be available for both 155mm and 5-inch (127mm) naval guns to address moving targets on land and at sea, the news release added.

Counter-swarming boat capability will be the prime focus of the at-sea moving target capability using a high-firing rate, large caliber, affordable munition that can be fired from land or sea platforms.

The transition to the naval 5-inch configuration is easily made as the existing 155mm Excalibur Ib GNU design also fits in a 127mm projectile body.

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