Raytheon-BAE Systems Bofors Excalibur Team Tests Extended-Range, Precision- Guided Artillery Projectiles
TUCSON, Ariz., May 18, 2007 /PRNewswire/ -- The Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) Missile Systems and BAE Systems Bofors Excalibur team test fired Excalibur Block Ia-2 precision-guided artillery projectiles at the White Sands Missile Range, N.M., testing range April 10-17.
The primary test objectives were to demonstrate the navigational function throughout the flight with live base bleed and to verify Excalibur's Modular Artillery Charge System zone 5 maximum-range performance with base bleed. Base bleed is a solid fuel that burns in the base of the projectile, expelling gas to reduce drag and extend range. The test shots were fired from an M109 series self-propelled howitzer using Modular Artillery Charge System zone 5.
Two of the test projectiles were fired to a target range of 40.8 kilometers (25.4 miles), impacting approximately 6.7 meters (22 feet) and 2.2 meters (7.2 feet) from the target center. Three shots were fired to 35 kilometers (21.8 miles) - one of which was fired at 5 degrees off axis - that impacted between 2.8 meters (9.2 feet) and 6.1 meters (20 feet) from the target center. The demonstrated range and accuracy exceed the Excalibur Block I objective requirements.
"Excalibur's maximum range will provide extended coverage, increased tactical reach and greater mutual support for more dispersed ground forces," said Col. John Tanzi, Training and Doctrine Command systems manager for cannons. "The enhanced accuracy, longer range and increased operational flexibility provided by Excalibur enable the warfighting commander to better execute the mission."
The Swedish Archer 52-caliber howitzer is predicted to achieve an Excalibur range of approximately 50 kilometers (33 miles). Upcoming Block Ia-2 tests include full system performance testing, to include maximum range shots from the Archer, and safety testing to validate projectile design margins under gun pressures exceeding normal operating conditions.
Excalibur is the world's first autonomous precision-guided artillery projectile, providing soldiers and Marines with unprecedented fire support accuracy from weapon systems organic to the current Brigade Combat Team force structure.
With its accuracy and increased effectiveness, Excalibur provides operational flexibility and reduced logistical burden for deployed ground forces. Excalibur also reduces collateral damage through increased precision, near-vertical descent and optimized fragmentation pattern. The extended range of the Excalibur Block Ia-2, with a planned initial operational capability in fiscal year 2009, will enable optimal positioning of forces and further extend a maneuver unit's tactical reach.
Raytheon Company, with 2006 sales of $20.3 billion, is a technology leader specializing in defense, homeland security and other government markets throughout the world. With a history of innovation spanning 85 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration and other capabilities in the areas of sensing; effects; and command, control, communications and intelligence systems, as well as a broad range of mission support services. With headquarters in Waltham, Mass., Raytheon employs 73,000 people worldwide.
Everett Tackett, APR
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