TUCSON, Ariz., Nov. 11, 2004 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- In a first-of-a-
kind test earlier this month, the Raytheon Missile Systems and Bofors
Excalibur team successfully fired a global positioning satellite-guided 155mm
artillery shell, which guided to a target aim point 20 kilometers down range.
The shell hit less than 11 feet from the aim point, well within the
performance specification of Excalibur.
"This test was a complete success," said Raytheon's Program Manager John
Halvey. "We could not be happier. This success demonstrates the hard work and
dedication that the team has strived for in order to put precision munitions
into the warfighters hands at the earliest possible date."
"The test's success marks a key milestone for fielding Excalibur in
conjunction with the M777 howitzer in fiscal year 2006 to a Stryker Brigade of
the 25th Infantry Division," said Lt. Col. William Cole, the Army's Excalibur
product manager at Picatinny Arsenal, N.J. The program is a cooperative effort
between the United States and Sweden.
The Excalibur round was fired from the new 155mm light howitzer XM777,
which will replace the M198 howitzer. Using a tactical propellant charge of
Modular Artillery Charge System-Four, the round successfully executed
navigation and guidance after GPS acquisition. The shell demonstrated proper
navigation and guidance despite experiencing extreme G-force during gun
launch. The shell completed numerous flight adjustments using its Control
Actuator System and hit the target at a near vertical descent. This near
vertical descent is ideal for urban warfare due to the limited space available
between city structures. Excalibur's extreme accuracy will reduce collateral
damage and make artillery a force multiplier for commanders on the ground.
"The round's most significant accomplishment was successful navigation and
GPS acquisition after a tactical gun launch," said Dave Martin, Raytheon's
Guided Projectiles vice president. Excalibur uses GPS technology to deliver a
variety of lethal payloads to a target up to 40 kilometers away when fired
from a 39 caliber howitzer.
The Excalibur program is a key element of the transformation of cannon
artillery to provide responsive precision strike capability. This capability
will offer high lethality, increased range, and low collateral damage, while
greatly reducing the logistical burden for future deployed ground forces.
Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN), with 2003 sales of $18.1 billion, is an
industry leader in defense and government electronics, space, information
technology, technical services, and business and special mission aircraft.
With headquarters in Waltham, Mass., Raytheon employs 78,000 people worldwide.
SOURCE: Raytheon Company
Web site: http://www.raytheon.com/