Artillery: February 14, 2004

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The U.S. Army is buying 183 of the 155mm Excalibur artillery shells in the next year. These GPS guided shells have a range of fifty kilometers and, because of their GPS guidance system, will land within 30 feet of the target coordinates put into the shell before it is fired. This is the first production batch of shells, and each one will cost $93,000. As quantities increase, the price is supposed to come down to $33,000 and, eventually, $10,000 per shell. The first version will be a high explosive shell. Other versions will carry cluster bombs or anti-tank weapons. The long range and accuracy of the shell enables artillery units to cover a wider area and deliver accurate fire no matter what the range. Previously, the longer the range, the less accurate fire was. American fire control systems have, for the last seventy years, been capable to coordinating all guns within range on one target. With the Excalibur shell, a massive amount of highly accurate fire can be concentrated on one target within minutes. This means that, no matter where an enemy force shows up unexpectedly, a devastating amount of firepower can be called upon by American troops in order to defend themselves.

 


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