The US Army has succeeded in hitting a target at a distance of 70 km (43 miles) in a December 19 precision-guided munition test at the Yuma proving ground.
The live fire demonstration used the Excalibur projectile and was the culmination of a campaign of learning on multiple systems.
Excalibur is fired from the Extended Range Cannon Artillery (ERCA), which uses the existing M109A7 PIM chassis and modernizes the vehicle above the turret ring to increase range and rate of fire in coordination with ammunition upgrades.
“Not only did the test show the design robustness of a current fielded projectile to demonstrate lethality at extended ranges, it did so while maintaining accuracy, marking a major milestone in support of (Long Range Precision Fires) objectives of achieving overmatch artillery capability in 2023,” said Col. Anthony Gibbs, project manager for Combat Ammunition Systems.
The US Army currently has multiple efforts including new propellant charges, an Extended Range Cannon Artillery (ERCA) system, multiple projectiles with varying capabilities, and target identification and tracking systems, under development to increase range and reduce the time from target identification to effects on target.