The latest version of Raytheon’s Excalibur S precision-guided munition has demonstrated its capability to change course to hit moving targets as part of a US Navy test.

Performed at Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona, US, the test validated the ability of the projectile to survive the shock and stress of a howitzer firing, then shift to laser guidance from GPS and hit a moving target.

The munition makes use of the Excalibur Ib variant’s GPS technology and incorporates a semi-active laser seeker to engage mobile land and maritime targets at comparable ranges.

Raytheon noted that existing Ib projectiles can be upgraded with Excalibur S capabilities.

Raytheon Land Warfare Systems vice-president Sam Deneke said: “Using artillery to engage moving targets gives soldiers more flexibility.

“Artillery is typically used to hit stationary objects, but Excalibur S expands the capability of artillery on the battlefield.”

Excalibur is a precision weapon, impacting at a radial miss distance of less than 2m from the target, with more than 1,400 rounds fired in combat to date.

Providing accurate first-round effects at all ranges in all weather conditions, the weapon also extends the reach of .39-calibre artillery to 40km and .52-calibre artillery to more than 50km. It is fully qualified in multiple systems, including the M777, M109 series, M198, the Archer and PzH2000.

Last May, Raytheon and the US Navy test-fired the sea-based Excalibur N5 munition to demonstrate various range capabilities.

Excalibur N5 is the naval variant of the extended-range, precision munition used by ground forces worldwide.