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Marine Artillery Battery Sets Record; Hits Target from 22 Miles Away

by G&A Online Editors   |  July 9th, 2012 29
OP Athens

Lance Cpl. Ahmad Garland holds an XM982 Excalibur Round at Forward Operating Base Zeebrugge. (Photo by James J. Lee/Marine Corps Times)

A U.S. Marine artillery battery’s strike on a group of insurgents not only took out a few terrorists, the massive round set a new record.

According to the Marine Corps Times, Golf Battery, 2nd Battalion, 11th Marines, out of Camp Pendleton, Calif., fired a 155mm M982 Excalibur round from an M777 howitzer Feb. 12 in at Forward Operating Base Zeebrugge, in Kajaki, Afghanistan, hitting a group of Taliban insurgents more than 22 miles (36 kilometers) away, setting a Marine Corps record for longest operational artillery shot.

However, chances are the record could fall. According to David Brockway, representative of the round’s developer, Raytheon Missile Systems, the round has been known to accurately hit targets up to 37.5 kilometers away in testing, and could also be launched up to 41 kilometers from 39-caliber M777 howitzers.

In 2007, the U.S. Army named an early version of the round, the XM982, one of its inventions of the year, citing the round’s “unmatched precision and lethality for artillery projectiles critical to urban warfare.” The Marine Corps sent an urgent request for over 1,000 rounds in 2011, and have fired the Excalibur ever since.

Golf Battery returned to Camp Pendleton in May.

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