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PGM Cannon Round Debuts in Afghanistan

Here's a cool heads up that the Army has fired its first Excalibur artillery round in Afghanistan.

It was just a test, but it's an important one since artillery actually plays a pretty big role in fire support during combat ops in Afghanistan. And with the recent rash of friendly fire incidents resulting from off-target CAS, it's always a good thing to add one more precision-guided munition to the tool kit, I think.

Here's part of the story we're running on Military.com:

KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan -- Soldiers fired the first 155mm GPS-guided Excalibur artillery round in Afghanistan Feb. 25.

The GPS-guided Excalibur round was given the proper grid coordinate to seek out and destroy a target using the Enhanced Portable Inductive Artillery Fuse Setter by placing the system on the tip of the round and sending a digital message containing the coordinate for the round to find.

"The Excalibur round travels farther and is designed to hit targets that conventional ammo does not always hit," said Army Staff Sgt. Darius Scott of C Battery, 3rd Battalion, 321st Field Artillery Regiment.

The Excalibur was fired using the M-777A2 155mm howitzer. The M-777 is designed to be a digitally programmed weapon and is about 9,800 pounds lighter than the more commonly used M-198 Howitzer and is reportedly more accurate.

Read the rest of the story here, and check out my earlier entry on the first use of Excalibur rounds in Iraq back in July.

-- Christian

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