Friday, October 29, 2010

GPS-guided Excalibur's Use Rises In Afghanistan

By Colin Clark
Since the GPS-guided Excalibur artillery round first made it to Iraq and Afghanistan, roughly 200 rounds have been fired. In the last week or so, use of that round has pulsed. Army artillerymen have fired 20 rounds or 10 percent of the total in Afghanistan, according to James Riley, Raytheon Missile System’s vice president for land systems. We don’t have similar numbers for the Marines, who have been using the shell as well.

Excalibur has been at the center of debate in the Army as the service grapples with the tradeoffs of cost, capability and logistics. Army Vice Chief of Staff Chiarelli has singled out Excalibur as an example of a weapon that would be nice to have lots of if only it didn’t cost so much compared to alternatives such as PGK (Precision Guidance Kit), a GPS setup that can be put on a $600 shell.

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