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Successful Flight Test of GPS-guided Artillery Projectile Puts Raytheon-Bofors Excalibur Closer to Fielding

TUCSON, Ariz., Sept. 26, 2005 /PRNewswire/ -- Proving accuracy and lethality, the Raytheon Missile Systems-Bofors' Excalibur team fired a global positioning system (GPS)-guided 155mm artillery projectile, successfully engaging a representative target with devastating effects.

"The end-to-end test of the Excalibur system demonstrates that we have a weapon system ready for fielding," said Raytheon's Excalibur program director John Halvey.

"The Excalibur team has made a tremendous step forward toward meeting the objective of fielding by March 2006," said Lt. Col. Bill Cole, the U.S. Army's product manager for Excalibur at Picatinny Arsenal, N.J. "Excalibur has proven at the system level that it can meet its precision and lethality objectives." The program is a cooperative effort between the United States and Sweden.

Currently the Excalibur team is responding to an urgent request from the warfighter to accelerate Excalibur fielding because of the projectile's better than 10-meter accuracy which is unavailable from any other artillery projectile. Soldiers and Marines will use Excalibur to reduce collateral damage and increase their survivability while efficiently accomplishing the mission.

The Excalibur projectile was fired from the Army's 155mm Paladin howitzer during the Sept. 15 test at Yuma Proving Ground, Ariz. The projectile was successfully set with an enhanced portable inductive artillery fuze setter (EPIAFS). The U.S. Army has adapted EPIAFS into a standalone fuze setter specifically for the urgent fielding requirement. The projectile's fuze was set to function above the target, resulting in an air burst which successfully disabled the light vehicles and produced lethal effects on the simulated personnel.

This test was preceded by Excalibur tests conducted on Sept. 1, when the Excalibur program achieved another success, firing two temperature conditioned projectiles from a Paladin howitzer using MACS-4 (modular artillery charge system) charges. Both rounds deployed their canards, acquired the GPS signal (the first live-fired rounds to utilize Direct Y GPS) and completed their pre- programmed navigational maneuvers.

This series of successful tests is paving the way for Raytheon to deliver this much needed capability to soldiers and Marines within the next six months. Excalibur will offer greater lethality, increased range and lower collateral damage, while greatly reducing the logistical burden for deployed ground forces.

Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN), with 2004 sales of $20.2 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 80,000 people worldwide.

   Sara Hammond

SOURCE: Raytheon Company

Web site: http://www.raytheon.com/

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