This new US military artillery weapon will make a great nasty surprise for the Russian Military The M982 Excalibur (previously XM982) is a 155 mm extended range guided artillery shell developed by Raytheon Missile Systems and BAE Systems Bofors. It is a GPS-guided munition capable of being used in close support situations within 150 metres (490 ft) of friendly troops.
Excalibur was developed as a longer-ranged alternative to conventional artillery shells, with GPS guidance for improved accuracy. Excalibur has a range of approximately 40 to 57 kilometres (25 to 35 mi) depending on configuration, with a circular error probable (CEP) of around 5 metres (16 ft) to 20 metres (66 ft). The extended range is achieved through the use of folding glide fins, which allow the projectile to glide from the top of a ballistic arc towards the target.
The munition was co-developed by United States-based Raytheon Missile Systems (guidance system) and the Swedish BAE Systems Bofors (body, base, ballistics and payload). Excalibur is used to minimize collateral damage, for targets beyond the range of standard munitions, for precise firing within 150 metres (490 ft) of friendly troops, or when firing in a straight line from the launching cannon is limited by terrain.
Initial combat experience with Excalibur in Iraq in the summer of 2007 was highly successful, with 92% of rounds falling within 4 metres (13 ft) of the target. Its performance was so impressive that the U.S. Army planned to increase production to 150 rounds per month from the previous 18 rounds per month. In 2012, Excalibur rounds reached new record ranges in combat of 36 kilometers.
Excalibur is compatible with the British AS-90 SPG, Swedish Archer Artillery System, South African G6 howitzer and the United States M109A6 Paladin self-propelled 155 mm howitzer, M198 howitzer and M777 Lightweight Howitzer.
There are three versions of the system. Initial development effort was towards Increment I; Milestone C decisions will be made on Increment II and III in FY2013 with a demonstration of those capabilities by 2020.
Increment I has a unitary penetrating warhead for use against stationary targets.
Increment Ia-1: Accelerated development, reduced range round. Entered service in 2007.
Increment Ia-2: Extended range round with resistance to GPS jamming
Increment Ib: Full capability, reduced cost, mass-production round.
Increment II “Smart” projectile for moving and time-sensitive targets. May carry either 65 DPICM or two SADARM submunitions.
Increment III “Discriminating” projectile “to search, detect, and selectively engage individual vehicles by distinguishing specific target characteristics”.
GPS/SAL: In June 2013, Raytheon initiated an internally funded program to upgrade the Excalibur Ib with a semi-active laser targeting capability. The SAL seeker will allow the shell to attack moving targets, attack targets that have re-positioned after firing, and change the impact point to avoid collateral damage. The GPS/INS Excalibur can be fired from 155 mm naval guns and can be downsized to fit in the body of a 127 mm (5.0 in) projectile.
The United States Armed Forces[N 1] are the military forces of the United States of America. They consist of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard. The U.S. has a strong tradition of civilian control of the military. The President of the United States is the military’s overall head, and helps form military policy with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), a federal executive department, acting as the principal organ by which military policy is carried out. The DoD is headed by the Secretary of Defense, who is a civilian and Cabinet member. The Defense Secretary is second in the military’s chain of command, just below the President, and serves as the principal assistant to the President in all DoD-related matters. To coordinate military action with diplomacy, the President has an advisory National Security Council headed by a National Security Advisor. Both the President and Secretary of Defense are advised by a seven-member Joint Chiefs of Staff, which includes the head of each of the Defense Department’s service branches as well as the chief of the National Guard Bureau. Leadership is provided by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The Commandant of the Coast Guard is not a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
All of the branches work together during operations and joint missions, under the Unified Combatant Commands, under the authority of the Secretary of Defense with the exception of the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard falls under the administration of the Department of Homeland Security and receives its operational orders from the Secretary of Homeland Security. The Coast Guard may be transferred to the Department of the Navy by the President or Congress during a time of war.