MINNEAPOLIS, 1 Oct. 2008.Alliant Techsystems won a $10.4 million contract for the first phase of a 48-month Excalibur Ib system design and development program from the U.S. Army, Picatinny Arsenal, N.J. The program is structured in two phases with a 15 round "shoot-off" and down-select at the completion of Phase 1, 18 months from now. Production options, which are expected to be exercised in the 2012, could bring total contract value to more than $350 million.
The Excalibur Ib is a lower-cost, higher-reliability alternative to the currently fielded Excalibur Ia, a precision-guided, extended-range 155mm artillery projectile. The Increment Ib weapon will provide long range (greater than or equal to 40km) with precise accuracy (less than or equal to 10m circular error probable) at less than one-half the cost of the current Excalibur variant, says a representative.
"ATK is committed to providing affordable precision solutions to our soldiers in the field," says Jack Cronin, president of ATK Mission Systems Group. "When you combine the savings of our Excalibur Ib with ATK's Precision Guidance Kit (PGK) solutions for 155mm and 105mm artillery rounds, we believe that ATK can enable the U.S. Army to move to an all-precision inventory of artillery ammunition."
The ATK design is a fin-stabilized, ballistic trajectory solution. This approach enables the round to take advantage of the inherent accuracy of the gun and yields a faster time to target. This reduces the need for the round to make complex maneuvers in flight and significantly simplifies the guidance and control system required.
Work will be performed in ATK facilities in Plymouth and Elk River, Minn.; Rocket Center, W.Va.; and Elkton, Md.