Theteam reports another successful test firing of the Block Ia-2 precision-guided projectile. Five rounds were fired at a target over a range of 40.8 km (25.4 miles) by an M-109 series self propelled howitzer, using Modular Artillery Charge zone 5 with base-bleed. Extended range Block Ia-2 is scheduled for initial operational capability in fiscal year 2009.
Two rounds fired at the maximum range impacted at within 2.2 meters (7.2 feet) from the target’s center. Three additional rounds fired 5 degrees off-axis, over a range of 35 km, impacted between 2.8 (9.2 feet) and 6.1 (20 feet) from the target center. The companies leading theteam are US based and Swedish based Bofors.
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.