Monday, October 20, 2008

Raytheon Receives $12 Million for Development of Excalibur 1b

Raytheon Receives $12 Million for Development of Excalibur 1b

TUCSON, Ariz., Oct. 20, 2008 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Army awarded Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) a $12 million contract for the initial design and maturation phase of the 155 mm, precision-guided Excalibur 1b projectile.

Excalibur 1b is the next increment in the development of the combat-proven Excalibur 1a munition. The new Excalibur design uses fewer parts and is easier to manufacture than the 1a round. The result is a more affordable projectile with enhanced reliability.

Capt. Victor Scharstein, assigned to the U.S. Army's 1st Cavalry Division, commanded a firing battery that employed Excalibur in Iraq. According to Scharstein, the Excalibur round was "amazingly accurate," and its fires produced a 92 percent success rate.

Excalibur 1a is an all-weather, precision munition that has repeatedly demonstrated better than 10 meter (32 feet) accuracy in combat. This accuracy enables U.S. warfighters to employ Excalibur within 70 meters (229 feet) of their own position, saving lives and limiting collateral damage.

"The Excalibur 1b combines the incredible success and reliability of the Excalibur 1a with a lower unit production cost," said Steve Bennett, Raytheon Missile Systems' Excalibur program director. "We are committed to providing the U.S. Army with this precision projectile, because we know it is a game- changer for soldiers deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan."

The contract award begins an 18-month design and maturation demonstration phase. It will be followed by a "downselect" for the 18- to 30-month system qualification phase and three years of low rate initial production.

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