US Excalibur shells give Ukraine a huge advantage – Russian expert

MOSCOW ($1=61.50 Russian Rubles) — The US-supplied M982 Excalibur artillery shells to Ukraine pose a challenge to Russia. This was announced by Russian military expert Yuri Knutov. He said this to a Russian journalist for the online portal iReactor.

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

As BulgarianMilitary.com reported, the Ukrainian armed forces are already using this artillery ammunition. A video recorded by a Ukrainian journalist showed the operation of the projectile with the M777A2 towed howitzer. According to various sources, the US has delivered at least 1,000 units of this projectile. Other sources say Canada also intends to supply M982 Excalibur to Ukraine from inventory returned from Afghanistan.

Knutov says the guidance system and high flight speed will be a serious test for the Russian armed forces. According to him, the US has delivered the latest version of the M982 Excalibur to Ukraine. “Ukraine got a huge advantage,” Knutov said in the interview and went on to say that “Ukrainian artillery got an advantage.”

M982 Excalibur’s guidance system

According to Knutov, projectile guidance is a problem for the Russians. The M982 Excalibur has an inertial guidance system during a significant portion of the projectile’s trajectory. GPS tracking is then turned on. However, if the projectile marks the target by targeting from a drone, the defeat is one hundred percent, Knutov says.

US-made-Excalibur-artillery-projectile-hit-targets-at-46-km-1
Photo credit: GlobalSecurity.org

Knutov says Russian electronic warfare systems will have no problem dealing with the M982 Excalibur. But for this to become a fact, the Russians must know which target the Ukrainians have chosen to fire at the Ukrainian armed forces.

The Excalibur projectile

The Excalibur projectile is a precision artillery weapon, the company said. It can work in all weather conditions and the maximum permissible impact error is 2 meters. Excalibur had a maximum range of 50 km if a .52 caliber projectile was used, and up to 40 km if the projectile caliber was .39.

Ukraine has sold two French-donated 155mm Caesar howitzers to Russia
Photo credit: Twitter

Escalibur can be used on systems such as the M777, M109 series, M198, Archer, and PzH2000, as well as the AS90, K9, and G6 howitzers. Currently, according to data from Raytheon Missiles & Defense, Sweden, Canada, Australia, and the Netherlands are using Excalibur projectiles.

According to Raytheon, in the future, we can expect Excalibur projectiles with laser targeting and a semi-active laser search engine. Excalibur also has a naval version called the Excalibur N5.

Ukrainians can increase the range

Ukrainian artillery can increase the range of the M982 Excalibur projectile. At the moment, the Ukrainians do not have an artillery gun that can deliver the projectile 50 km. But they have the French Caesar self-propelled howitzer.

In mid-January of this year, the American artillery shell Excalibur, produced by Raytheon Missiles & Defense, hit two targets at a distance of just over 46 km after being fired by the French self-propelled howitzer CAESAR. Raytheon issued a special press release stating that American soldiers and representatives of the French company Nexter took part in the test.

The successful test also shows that the American Modular Artillery Charge System [MACS] is fully compatible with that of the French howitzer. According to Sam Deneke, vice president of ground operations and air defense at Raytheon Missiles & Defense, the successful test gives additional mobility and precision to the US Excalibur artillery shell. He stressed that integration would benefit both the Pentagon and US partner countries.

The integration between the Modular Artillery Charge System Excalibur and the French self-propelled howitzer CAESAR may open up a new market opportunity to increase sales and therefore profits of Raytheon Missiles & Defense. The reason is that CAESAR is implemented in eight US partner countries, is one of the most successful and recognizable howitzers in Europe, and can be mounted on truck chassis, making it flexible to use.

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