Artillery: December 2, 2004


The U.S. Army has successfully tested its new 155mm Excalibur guided artillery shell, showing that it can  provide plunging fire against individual buildings in urban areas. Using GPS guidance, Excalibur can be fired at a high angle, and then come down on the target at a 90 degree angle, and land within ten meters of the aiming point. Fighting inside a city, this is a very valuable capability. The 106 pound Excalibur shells carries less than twenty pounds of  explosives, compared to about 400 pounds in a 500 pound bomb. The only downside of the Excalibur is the cost, which will be about $20,000 per shell once it enters mass production in 2006. The army bought 183 Excalibur shells this year, for some $90,000 each, to continue testing.


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