|Type||Guided artillery shell|
|Place of origin||Sweden/USA|
|Used by||Sweden, US Army, Canada|
|Unit cost||US$53,620 (Increment 1b)|
|Effective range||Increment 1a-1: 23 kilometres (14 mi)
Increment 1a-2: 40 km (25 mi)
|GPS plus inertial navigation|
The M982 Excalibur (previously XM982) is a 155 mm extended range guided artillery shell developed by Raytheon Missile Systems and BAE Systems Bofors. It is a GPS-guided munition capable of being used in close support situations within 150 metres (490 ft) of friendly troops.
Excalibur was developed as a longer-ranged alternative to conventional artillery shells, with GPS guidance for improved accuracy. Excalibur has a range of approximately 40 kilometres (25 mi) to 57 kilometres (35 mi) depending on configuration, with a (CEP) of around 5 metres (16 ft) to 20 metres (66 ft). The extended range is achieved through the use of folding glide fins, which allow the projectile to glide from the top of a ballistic arc towards the target.
The munition was developed on 50/50 basis by United States-based Raytheon Missile Systems (guidance system) and the Swedish BAE Systems Bofors (body, base, ballistics and payload). Excalibur is used to minimize collateral damage, for targets beyond the range of standard munitions, for precise firing within 150 metres (490 ft) of friendly troops, or when firing in a straight line from the launching cannon is limited by terrain.
Initial combat experience with Excalibur in Iraq in the summer of 2007 was highly successful, with 92% of rounds falling within 4 metres (13 ft) of the target. Its performance was so impressive that the US Army planned to increase production to 150 rounds per month from the previous 18 rounds per month. In 2012, Excalibur rounds reached new record ranges in combat of 36 kilometers.
There are three versions of the system. Initial development effort was towards Increment I; Milestone C decisions will be made on Increment II and III in FY2013 with a demonstration of those capabilities by 2020.
- Increment I has a unitary penetrating warhead for use against stationary targets.
- Increment Ia-1: Accelerated development, reduced range round. Entered service in 2007.
- Increment Ia-2: Extended range round with resistance to GPS jamming
- Increment Ib: Full capability, reduced cost mass production round.
- Increment II "Smart" projectile for moving and time-sensitive targets. May carry either 65 DPICM or two SADARM submunitions.
- Increment III "Discriminating" projectile "to search, detect, and selectively engage individual vehicles by distinguishing specific target characteristics".
Excalibur started as a development program in 1992. The Operational Requirements Document (ORD) of May 1997 called for 200,000 rounds of an unguided munition with increased range at an estimated cost of $4,000/round, and Texas Instruments (now part of Raytheon) was awarded the initial EMD contract on 23 January 1998. In November 2001 the volume was cut to 76,677 rounds and soon after this was further reduced to 61,483, but the developers were encouraged by the Indian experience of using Russian Krasnopol guided shells against Pakistani bunkers in the Kargil War of 1999. In March 2004 the program was merged with a Swedish/US program to create Trajectory Correctable Munitions, reflected in a new ORD in September 2004 which removed the Dual-Purpose Improved Conventional Munition "cluster bomb" variant in favor of the discriminating munition variant. Later that year the US Army reduced its planned order to 30,000 rounds. Low-rate production of 500 rounds was approved in May 2005 and Raytheon was awarded a contract to produce 165 rounds in June 2005, worth $22.1m. In September of that year, the round was successfully demonstrated at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona. Raytheon was awarded a $42.7 million contract for production of 335 Excalibur projectiles and related test articles and services in June 2006 for that fiscal year.
In August 2006, technical problems relating to environmental sensitivity and GPS signal lock were discovered, pushing the expected in-service date to Spring 2007. Testing in September demonstrated an actual average CEP of 5m or better.
Increment Ia-1 completed testing in early 2007 and in April that year the US Army approved an Urgent Material Release to allow deployment to Iraq. The Excalibur was first operationally fired in Iraq in May 2007. Increment Ia-2 achieved a 40 km range in a live-fire demonstration in April 2007 and in July the Army Acquisition Executive approved the Milestone C decision for Ia-2 to enter low-rate production.
In September 2008 both Raytheon and Alliant Techsystems were awarded competitive development contracts for Increment 1b mass production, but Raytheon secured the final manufacturing contract in August 2010. Test firings of Increment Ia-1 rounds in March 2009 revealed that the Honeywell inertial measurement unit was not up to standard, and it was replaced by a unit from Atlantic Inertial Systems. In April 2010 the US Army's planned order was cut further, from 30,000 rounds to 6,264, which increased the unit cost sufficiently that it triggered an investigation under the Nunn–McCurdy Amendment. Normally a Nunn-McCurdy breach signals a program in trouble, but a 2012 RAND report concluded that the cost increases were caused by the cuts in procurement numbers, which in turn resulted from the improved accuracy of modern artillery, fewer shells were needed.
The munition was developed with US$55.1 million in financial assistance from Sweden, which expected to receive service rounds in 2010. The Australian Army ordered US$40m of Excalibur rounds in October 2007, an order revised in April 2008 to an estimated US$58m. In 2008 unit cost was US$85,000. In FY2013 the US Army would request 2287 Increment 1b rounds at a cost of US$122.629m, or US$53,620/unit, but some of this funding may have been denied. In December 2012, Raytheon received a $56.6 million contract for low-rate initial production of Excalibur 1b projectiles.
- Australia—pending FMS request
- Norway—pending FMS request
- United States Army and Marine Corps
See also 
- M712 Copperhead
- XM1156 Precision Guidance Kit
- XM395 Precision Guided Mortar Munition
- Krasnopol (Weapon)
- Otobreda Vulcano
- "House Report 112-493 - DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE APPROPRIATIONS BILL, 2013". US Congress. 25 May 2012.
- "Excalibur XM982 Precision Engagement Projectiles". Office of the Director, Operational Test & Evaluation. 2007.
- "XM982 Excalibur 155mm Precision Guided Extended Range Artillery Projectile". Globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 2007-05-27.
- "Raytheon Company: Excalibur". Raytheon.com. Retrieved 2012-07-06.
- Clark, Colin (2010-10-27). "Excalibur Use Rises In Afghanistan". DoD Buzz. Retrieved 2012-07-06.
- John Pike. "XM982 Excalibur 155mm Precision Guided Extended Range Artillery Projectile". Globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 2012-07-06.
- "Raytheon-BAE Systems Bofors' Excalibur Closer to Fielding". Spacewar.com. 2006-09-19. Retrieved 2012-07-06.
- "Big Guns". MichaelYon.com. Retrieved 2010-06-10.
- Aviation Week & Space Technology, 2007-09-03, page 20
- Swedish missile among US army's favourites in Iraq The Local, 2008-08-22
- "US Marines fire Excalibur from record range in Afghanistan." Space War, 13 June 2012.
- Strategy Page - Excalibur Delayed Again
- Blickstein, Irv; Drezner, Jeffrey A.; et al (2012), Root Cause Analyses of Nunn-McCurdy Breaches, Volume 2 - Excalibur Artillery Projectile and the Navy Enterprise Resource Planning Program, with an Approach to Analyzing Complexity and Risk, RAND Corporation, ISBN 9780833076434
- ""One Shot, One Kill" May Not Be Worth It". StrategyWorld.com. 7 February 2006.
- "Raytheon Receives $22.1M to Deliver Excalibur GPS Shells Ahead of Schedule". Defense Industry Daily. 30 June 2005.
- Troops could have new Picatinny-developed smart artillery munition by March - RDECOM Magazine
- XM982 Excalibur - Deagel
- Strategy Page - Excalibur Freeze Out
- Successful Safety Testing of GPS-Guided Artillery Projectile Puts Raytheon-BAE Systems Bofors' Excalibur Closer to Fielding - Raytheon
- "America’s First Team first-ever to fire Excalibur precision munition in combat".
- Brannen, Kate (27 August 2010). "Raytheon Beats ATK to Win Excalibur Job".
- Defense Security Cooperation Agency, 1 October 2007
- Defense Security Cooperation Agency, April 2008
- Cannot Get Enough Excalibur
- Raytheon's new precision artillery ready for low-rate initial production - Raytheon press release, February 20, 2013
- Jane's Ammunition Handbook 2003–2004
Further reading 
- 2012 RAND report goes into detail on the progress of the project
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