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Raytheon Tests Excalibur's Low-Cost Titanium Base Design and On-Board Recorder

Category: Defence Industry

Raytheon Tests Excalibur's Low-Cost Titanium Base Design and On-Board Recorder

SOCORRO, N.M. -- Raytheon Company tested a new low-cost titanium base (Ti) and on-board recorder (OBR) for the Excalibur precision-guided artillery projectile during a June 13 test firing.

The test firings are part of Raytheon Missile Systems' pre-contract preparation for the Excalibur Ib development award. The firings demonstrated the effectiveness of the low-cost Ti design and validated the use of an OBR and telemetry unit.

"The Ti base was a key element in the proposal Raytheon submitted to the U.S. Army on May 7 because it lowers the cost of gun-fired precision projectiles," said Steve Bennett, director of Raytheon's Excalibur program. "A Ti base offers increased reliability with fewer parts, simpler manufacturing, and compatibility with the Army's 155 mm Excalibur projectile."

Raytheon's Ti base design can accommodate base burn propellant. The propellant and the projectile's aerodynamic profile significantly increase Excalibur's range.

During the test fire, the projectiles flew stable flights, and the stowed fins successfully deployed after clearing the gun. The tests demonstrated the fins' structural integrity and ability to synchronously deploy and lock.

The test flight also validated the effectiveness of the OBR. The recorder tracked projectile acceleration and roll rates inside the gun tube, after the round exited the tube, and during flight.

"The OBR will enable Raytheon to move rapidly from design to successful test flights with minimal testing," said Bennett. "The Ti base and OBR will make compatibility assessments across a broad range of gun platforms and propellant charges faster and easier."

Excalibur recently received a Top 10 Army Greatest Inventions of the Year Award for 2007.


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