US: Raytheon Company's Excalibur Ib precision guided projectile has entered full rate production (FRP). US Army approval of FRP completes Excalibur Ib's low rate initial production phase. Additionally, the US Army has awarded Raytheon USD 52 million for continued Excalibur Ib production.
"The full rate production decision is the culmination of superb teamwork between the US Army and Raytheon. I am proud of the combined team's effort that is putting the world's finest cannon artillery munitions into the hands of our warfighters,” said Lieutenant Colonel Josh Walsh, US Army Excalibur Product Manager. Earlier this year, the Army approved Excalibur Ib for Full Materiel Release (FMR) and awarded the projectile a Type Classification-Standard. That means Excalibur is safe for soldiers; it has been fully tested; it meets operational performance requirements, and it can be supported logistically within its intended operational environment.
"International interest in Excalibur has risen sharply during the last year. The Army's approval of FMR and the decision to enter full rate production represent major milestones that many potential customers have eagerly anticipated. Excalibur has revolutionized cannon artillery, making it possible to engage targets precisely at long ranges while avoiding collateral damage, a capability that appeals to military leaders around the world,” said Michelle Lohmeier, Vice President, Raytheon Land Warfare Systems.
In recent tests, all projectiles scored direct hits on their intended targets. The projectile's reliability, lethality and range are in excess of Army requirements and at all-time highs, while the unit cost has dropped significantly during the programme's lifetime.