The Indian Army has finally acquired 155MM Excalibur artillery ammunition from the US, which is long-range and can hit targets more than 50 Km away. According to the Indian Army sources, "For the artillery ammunition inventory, there was an urgent need of PGMs (precision-guided munitions) were always felt. The process was fast-tracked and finally, it has arrived from the US. The ammunition can be fired at extended ranges." Post Pulwama attack, a decision was taken earlier this year which helped in expediting the process for procuring weapon system and ammunition to be ready to deal with any possible attack.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has taken a decision to delegate financial powers to both the Service Headquarters as well as given emergency powers to the Vice Chiefs of respective Service HQs, as this helps in expediting the procurements which have been fast-tracked.
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This has been acquired for the units which are deployed along the Line of Control with Pakistan where artillery firing is a regular feature and this ammunition once-fired has the capability to be busted in the air using different fuses.
This Excalibur ammunition was developed for the US Army for improving the accuracy of the artillery shells in the war in Afghanistan. Now, the Indian Army will use this for M-777 ultra-light Howitzers which have been made in the US by the BAE Systems and assembled in India. Soon, one of the seven regiments of the M-777 Ultra Light Howitzers will be operational soon, along the borders with Pakistan and China.
This Excalibur ammunition can also be used in the K-9 Vajra 155 mm/52 calibre self-propelled tracked howitzer.
This has been co-developed by US-based Raytheon and BAE Systems AB.
This ammunition is fitted with a polymer-bonded explosive warhead.
This has a range of up to 50 Kms when fired from 52-caliber artillery.
It is a GPS-guided munition.
It has the capability to engage targets at a distance as close as 75 meters.