The US Army has placed a $66.2 million order with Raytheon Technologies for an undisclosed number of M982 Excalibur GPS-guided heavy artillery projectiles.
A next-generation artillery precision munition, the Excalibur is a 155-millimeter extended-range shell that provides superior fire support.
It uses a jam-resistant internal GPS receiver to update the navigation system and provide precision in-flight guidance to strike targets within two meters, regardless of range.
The weapon system features first-round effects-on-target capabilities for increased lethality while minimizing collateral damage and can be deployed in all weather conditions.
Work for the contract will be performed in Arkansas, Arizona, California, Iowa, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. It is expected to be complete by April 2024.
The longest-range artillery munition in the US arsenal, the M982 Excalibur is reportedly capable of being fired nearly straight up from cities or hilly terrain. It can also enable its precision-guidance system at high altitudes to detect and attack moving targets.
According to the US Army Acquisition Support Center, the smart munition allows soldiers to deny enemy forces the ability to take protective measures or flee the area of attack.
Its high accuracy also supports a limited damage radius, enabling target engagement within close proximity.
This is not the first time the service has invested in intelligent munitions. In 2021, the Army tapped defense firm Alliant Techsystems to provide precision guidance kits to transform conventional 155-millimeter artillery shells into GPS-guided munitions.
Delivery is expected by 2024.