Raytheon Sets a New Range Record of a Projectile on a Gun System

With the munition shot at a target over 28 miles away.
Ameya Paleja
Screen grab of the munition in actionRaytheon Technologies/YouTube

Raytheon Missiles and Defense, an Arizona-based manufacturer of guided missiles, successfully tested its Excalibur range of artillery from a CAESAR self-propelled howitzer setting a new distance record, Defence Blog reported. 

The U.S. Army has been working on an Extended Range Cannon Artillery (ERCA) gun and got it right on its third attempt, a couple of years ago. The gun was modified from a 39-caliber to a 58-caliber tube on the ERCA. It is the same projectile used on the ERCA, Excalibur, developed by Raytheon, that was used to achieve the distance record this time too. 

According to Defense Blog, the Excalibur has GPS-guided capability and has multiple fuze modes. It is already in use by militaries around the world and has been used with other guns such as M777, M109 series, M198, the Archer, the PzH2000, and the SIAC systems, which are towed artilleries. 

Developed by Nexter Systems, CAESAR is a self-propelled howitzer with a 52 caliber gun and an operational range of 370 miles (600 km). During the demonstration, the Excalibur munition was fired at a target more than 28 miles (46 km), a record from the gun. The munition has a radial miss distance of fewer than two meters, and as was seen in the video above, it can hit targets and a short radius around can cause some serious damage.

“Integration with CAESAR now adds a level of mobility to the long-range and proven precision of Excalibur, providing the U.S. Army and partner nations more flexibility for this advanced, versatile weapons system for contested environments,” said Sam Deneke, vice president of execution for Land Warfare & Air Defense at Raytheon Missiles & Defense. “This success highlights the interoperability of a French howitzer with a U.S. munition and offers our customers more options to deploy Excalibur artillery from a range of platforms.” 

“This demonstration with Excalibur underscores CAESAR’s compatibility with NATO standards for both conventional and smart ammunition,” said Thierry Soulat, program manager at Nexter in the press release. 

With the U.S. Army looking to upgrade its howitzers to negate threats from cruise missiles, an extended range on these projectiles would be a handy addition. 

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