Raytheon and the US Navy have successfully fired a precision-guided munition that can be fired from a howitzer and zero in on a moving object. The recent test of the Excalibur S round not only demonstrated its ability to switch from GPS to laser guidance to find its target, but also that its electronics and sensors can withstand the shock of being fired out of a gun.
The Excalibur S is the latest variant of Raytheon’s Excalibur line of smart projectiles. Developed by Raytheon and BAE Systems Bofors, it uses the GPS technology from the Excalibur Ib, and combines it with a semi-active laser seeker that allows it to home in on moving land and maritime targets with a miss radius of under two meters (6.5 ft).
The Excalibur system is designed to work with a variety of artillery and can extend the range of a .52 caliber gun to over 50 km (31 mi) to hit or damage its target with the first round. When the Excalibur S is first fired, it uses GPS to make its initial target fix, then switches over to its laser sensor to home in on an outside targeting beam.