Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
Also Known As: Excalibur Block Ia-1, Excalibur Block Ia-2, M982E1 Excalibur Ib and XM982
and United States of America
and United Defense
Parent System: M982 Excalibur
Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 2007
Total Production: 7,474
Total Cost: USD$1.7 billion
Description: The Excalibur, XM982, is a family of modular 155mm projectiles that incorporate 3 unique payloads (64 DPICM submunitions, 2 SFM submunitions, 1 unitary warhead). DPICM is used against personnel, materiel, light armored targets and other area targets. SFM (Sensor Fuzed Munition) will be used to engage self-propelled howitzers and armored targets. The unitary warhead will be used against various personnel, equipment and building in urban or complex area. Excalibur projectiles will engage targets up to 50 kilometers at 20 meters CEP accuracy.
Excalibur's guidance system is GPS/INS-based. It will be compatible with current and future 155mm-artillery systems such as Paladin, M198, LW155 and FCS-cannon. It is expected that deployed fire support units will yield 3-to-6 times more effective rounds using Excalibur, rather than dumb munitions. Its near vertical descent feature is specially suitable for urban warfare due to limited space available between city structures.
The first Excalibur artillery shell fire test was conducted in early November 2004. The shell hit the target area less than 3.4 meters from the aim point located at approximately 20 kilometers from the artillery gun, the new XM777 howitzer, which fired Excalibur. Its precision strike capability will represent lower collateral damage when finally fielded in 2006 with the US Army's 25th Infantry Division which has been equipped with Stryker vehicles.
In June 2006, the US Army awarded Raytheon a $42.7 million contract for fiscal year 2006 production of 335 Excalibur projectiles and related test articles and services. Excalibur's accuracy has been set to 4.5 meters after 12 successful guided flights. In 2011, the program's scope was scaled down from 30,000+ to only 7,474 units to be procured.
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