Raytheon successfully fires new Excalibur N5 projectile

30 September 2015 (Last Updated September 30th, 2015 18:30)

Raytheon has successfully tested its new Excalibur N5 projectile at Yuma Proving Ground, Ariz, during a live guided-flight demonstration.

Raytheon has successfully tested its new Excalibur N5 projectile at Yuma Proving Ground, Ariz, during a live guided-flight demonstration.

Excalibur N5 is a 5in / 127mm naval variant of the Excalibur precision projectile that is being used by several militaries, including the US Marine Corps and US Army.

Raytheon Land Warfare Systems product line vice-president Duane Gooden said: "Excalibur N5's range, precision and lethality will revolutionise naval gunfire and increase the offensive firepower of our navy's destroyers and cruisers.

"This demonstration showcases the N5's maturity as a proven low-risk solution, and is ready for the navy now."

According to the company, the upgraded projectile offers more than triple the maximum effective range of conventional naval gun munitions.

In addition, it reportedly provides the same pinpoint accuracy as the Excalibur Ib, which is currently in production.

"This demonstration showcases the N5's maturity as a proven low-risk solution."

Excalibur uses GPS guidance to deliver accurate, first-round effects capability in any environment, with a high level of precision, the system offers less time, cost and logistical burden, the company stated.

The new missile is designed to support a number of critical mission areas, including naval surface fire support, anti-surface warfare (ASuW), and countering fast attack craft (FAC).

Gooden added: "With the significant amount of re-use from the army's Excalibur programme, the N5 provides the navy with an affordable, direct path to employ a critical capability.

"We continue to build on Excalibur's unmatched reliability and performance by investing in a fire-and-forget, dual-mode seeker that will vastly improve the 5in gun's current ASuW and counter-FAC capability."

Raytheon recently secured a contract from the US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) to acquire long-lead materials required to manufacture up to 17 Standard Missile-3 Block IIAs to be used for testing and initial deployment.

Designed as part of phase two of the current administration's phased adaptive approach for missile defence, the SM-3 Block IIA missile can be launched from ground stations or ships to provide increased engagement capability and greater range.