Spanish Army eyes new Excalibur S precision artillery ammunition

By Defence Industry Europe

The Spanish Army plans to enhance its artillery capabilities with the latest version of the 155-mm Excalibur S precision-guided munition. This move follows their procurement of a small batch of M982A1 Excalibur projectiles.


Developed jointly by Raytheon and BAE Systems, the Excalibur S ammunition is an advanced version of the standard Excalibur artillery shells. While the standard version utilizes GPS/INS guidance for long-range accuracy, it lacks the ability to hit moving targets. The Excalibur S, however, incorporates semi-active laser guidance in its terminal flight phase, allowing for the engagement of mobile targets. This laser guidance necessitates external illumination from sources such as drones, forward artillery observers, special forces, or aircraft.



The Spanish Army conducted successful testing of the previously purchased Excalibur artillery shells at the San Giorgino range near Zaragoza in October last year. The tests, which involved firing from SIAC 155/52 towed howitzers and M109A5E self-propelled guns, achieved ranges of up to 50 km, declaring an initial operational capability for the ammunition.



Spain, having received approval for the purchase of a total of 271 Excalibur artillery shells, is simultaneously developing its domestic precision munition capabilities. The local company, Escribano Mechanical & Engineering, is working on Fuze Guidance Kit modules, also known as Alkon, which can convert standard 155 mm ammunition into precision-guided weapons. Trials for these kits were conducted in the summer of 2021.



Additionally, in the autumn of 2023, an agreement was signed with Escribano and Rheinmetall Expal Munitions under the Estra program. This program aims to integrate the guidance section from Escribano with Expal’s fuses, leading to the creation of the ER01A1 and subsequently the ER02A1BB ammunition with increased range and a mean point of impact error of less than 30 meters.



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