Excalibur fired from record range by Marines in Afghanistan

AFGHANISTAN. U.S. Marine Corps personnel fired two Excalibur 155mm precision-guided artillery projectiles from a record range of 36 kilometers, or 22.3 statute miles, while in theater in Afghanistan. According to Excalibur producer Raytheon the fired shots represent the longest distance an Excalibur round has been fired in combat since it was first fielded in 2007.

More than 500 rounds have been fired in theater to date, according to Raytheon. The system’s use has increased quite a bit in the last year as the Marines are firing as many as 32 rounds in one week. U.S. forces have integrated Excalibur into close-combat formations to avoid collateral damage even when U.S. warfighters are located close to the target.

"It is incredible to think about how this capability has evolved with its use over time, and these shots are evidence of that," says Lt. Col. Mike Milner, Excalibur product manager for the U.S. Army. "We are continually improving Excalibur's use in theater."

Excalibur – which is also operated by the U.S. Army -- uses GPS technology for accuracy in urban settings. The weapon system can impact at a radial miss distance of about six meters from the target.