Friday, August 27, 2010

Raytheon Beats ATK to Win Excalibur Job

The U.S. Army has selected Raytheon over ATK to continue development of the next-generation of Excalibur 1B GPS-guided artillery rounds, according to a DOD contract announcement.

On Aug. 25, Raytheon received a $22 million cost-plus-incentive-fee contract for Excalibur 155mm Increment 1B artillery rounds, the announcement said. The contract was awarded after a 23-month competitive development and prototyping effort between Raytheon and ATK, including a competitive shoot-off this summer.

If successful during this phase, Raytheon could produce as many as 3,430 projectiles for the Army after its weapon passes tests, said Picatinny Arsenal spokesman Peter Rowland.

The Excalibur 1B munition is the next generation of the 1A rounds, produced by Raytheon and in use in Iraq and Afghanistan.

After a review of its precision fires portfolio, the Army decided to buy just 6,000 Excalibur 1B rounds, far fewer than the planned 30,000. That sent the unit cost of the rounds soaring, causing a Nunn-McCurdy breach.

The Army is still going through the required Nunn-McCurdy review, which is scheduled for completion by Jan. 13, 2011, said Lt. Col. Michael Milner, Excalibur product manager for the Army.

Delivery of the Excalibur 1B rounds is projected to occur in 2012, according to a Raytheon statement.

Excalibur 1B is required to hit targets out to 35 kilometers.

Excalibur Increment 1b, when fielded, is expected to provide a more reliable precision munition for less money, according to the Army.

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