U.S. Army Doubles Down on Raytheon's Excalibur

The U.S. Department of Defense announced new contract awards totaling nearly $2 billion in total value on Monday -- and a modification of an existing contract worth $6.9 billion all on its own. Yet one of the most interesting contracts announced on the day was a smallish $54 million award won by Raytheon (NYSE: RTN  ) .

Raytheon's award, which exercises an option to make follow-on purchases from a firm-fixed price, option eligible, non-multiyear contract, will have Raytheon supply the U.S. Army with 765 Excalibur 155 mm artillery rounds. What's interesting about this is that, although the Army has been buying Excalibur rounds since at least 2008, to date only about 600 rounds of the ammunition have been fired in anger. That number now looks likely to rise, as the Army makes plans to buy more Excalibur rounds in one single transaction than it's used in combat over the past five years.

According to Raytheon, the Excalibur is a "revolutionary precision projectile" developed for use by the U.S. Army and Marine Corps. "Using GPS precision guidance technology," says the company, "Excalibur provides accurate, first round, fire-for-effect capability in an urban setting. Excalibur is considered a true precision weapon, impacting at a radial miss distance of six meters from the target."


Excalibur, Source: Raytheon.

Although each Excalibur round costs more than $70,000, Raytheon notes that "analyses have shown that on average it takes at least 10 conventional munitions to accomplish what one Excalibur can."

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  • Report this Comment On August 27, 2013, at 12:41 AM, greybuscat wrote:

    I'm sure it's a fine round, but other countries have better Artillery pieces than the Paladin (like Germany for one), and artillery is about as useful in counter-insurgency operations as a world war II era battleship.

    Not very useful at all.

  • Report this Comment On August 27, 2013, at 4:34 AM, BigFish92672 wrote:

    Seriously?!? They need to fire 10 155mm rounds to hit their target?!? On average?!? So half the spotters need more than that?!? That is truly unbelievable. If they were trying to sell me something, I'd call them liars.

  • Report this Comment On August 27, 2013, at 7:24 AM, yardomd wrote:

    Artillery is great on snipers, machine guns and strong points. That is why they keep moving.

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