Ukraine gets 155mm M982 guided shells: PBX warhead, 23-70 km range

OTTAWA, ($1=1.27 Canadian Dollars) — The Canadian government has decided to send to the Ukrainian armed forces an unknown number of towed M777 howitzers, as we announced just days ago. BulgarianMilitary.com has learned that this delivery to Kyiv includes 155mm GPS-guided artillery shells M982 Excalibur, formerly known as XM982. The information was confirmed by an additional press release issued by the Canadian Ministry of Defense.

Ukraine gets 155mm M982 guided shells: PBX warhead, 23-70 km range
Photo credit: Naver

M982 Excalibur is a 155mm artillery shell developed by BAE Systems and Rating. According to unofficial information, the base price of one unit of M982 is 112.8K USD. In addition to Canada, this projectile is in service in several countries around the world, including India, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the United States.

M982 Excalibur weighs 48 kg and has a length of 100 cm. Depending on the artillery cannon used, the M982 Excalibur can hit a target from a minimum range of 23 km to a maximum range of 70 km. The warhead of the projectile is PBXN-9 and weighs about 22 kg. The accuracy of the impact is calculated within a radius of 4 meters.

70 km range

According to comprehensive foreign reports, nearly two years ago (at the end of December 2020) the US Army successfully tested the M982A1 Excalibur artillery shells with a new prototype of the XM1299 self-propelled gun, which is still under development, hitting a 70-kilometer target.

Ukraine gets 155mm M982 guided shells: PBX warhead, 23-70 km range
Photo credit: Wikipedia

This self-propelled gun XM1299 has been modernized and improved based on the M109A7. The main one is a new gun with a barrel length of 9.1 meters and a caliber of 155 mm, which can fire M982A1 Excalibur shells. Initially, the test did not go well, as a strong headwind made the first projectile miss its target by about 100 to 200 meters, but after later adjustments, it successfully hit the target at 70 kilometers. At the same time, the effect of different propellants was evaluated in this test.

Sources claim that the M982A1 Excalibur projectiles used have also been improved and are part of the “Extended Range Artillery Project (ERCA)”.

Warhead PBXN-9

PBXN-9 is a PBX or polymer-bonded explosive warhead, also called PBX or plastic-bonded explosive. This type of explosive uses a very small amount of synthetic polymer and is part of the explosive powder in the charge matrix. It has been developed since the early 1950s, but only in the 1960s and 1970s did it find application in the warheads of various projectiles.

Ukraine gets 155mm M982 guided shells: PBX warhead, 23-70 km range
Photo credit: The Diplomat

A quick look shows that the PBX is widely used in various warheads, some high-speed missiles, and projectiles, such as nuclear W62, W70, W68, W79, W82, and many others. PBX is found in the Mk-48 torpedo, as well as in the jet-powered supersonic cruise missile BGM-109 Tomahawk and short-range AIM-9X Sidewinder missile. In recent years, PBX warheads have found wide application in the development of naval artillery missiles.

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