11 December 2013 army-technology.com
Raytheon has completed the final phase of compatibility testing of precision-guided Excalibur projectiles with the German-made PzH2000 self-propelled howitzer in collaboration with the US Army, marking completion of a multi-phase assessment.
During the trials carried out at Yuma Proving Ground, the PzH2000 fired ten Excalibur projectiles at targets ranging from 9km to 48km, with all rounds striking within 3m of the targets.
The live-fire demonstration, funded by the US, Germany and supported by Raytheon-funded initial testing, also demonstrated the projectile's capability to manoeuvre from the ballistic trajectory to an offset target.
Raytheon Missile Systems Land Warfare Systems product line vice-president Michelle Lohmeier said: "The PzH2000 is one of many highly capable cannon artillery systems currently deployed, and now we've proven that it can fire the only mature, true precision solution available today."
In October, Raytheon also tested the Excalibur from the Swedish Archer and US howitzers.
The German Ministry of Defence is currently assessing Excalibur and competitive technologies, with a contract decision anticipated next year.
US Army Excalibur programme manager Lt Col Josh Walsh said: "Raytheon's Excalibur is a combat-proven solution that has been fielded and used in combat since 2007 with nearly 700 firings in coalition operations."
In a bid to validate the production readiness of Excalibur Ib, Raytheon would carry out a first article test by the end of the year, with further plans of a live-fire demonstration of the 'Excalibur-S' early next year.
The 155mm precision-guided, extended-range Excalibur deploys GPS guidance, which would allow précised, first-round effects capability in any situation, while reducing time, cost and logistical load associated with using other artillery munitions.