The Excalibur team reports another successful test firing of the Block Ia-2 precision-guided artillery 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 155mm howitzer, using Modular Artillery Charge zone 5 with base-bleed. Extended range Excalibur 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 the Excalibur team are US based Raytheon and Swedish based BAE Systems 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.