The Indian Army is aiming to acquire the Excalibur guided long-range artillery ammunition that has the capability of striking targets more than 50 km away. This is being done to provide the army with a way to hit enemy positions close to populated areas without causing any collateral damage.
“The Indian Army is planning to acquire the Excalibur artillery ammunition from the Americans under the emergency procurement procedures,” government sources said here.
The ammunition would be provided to the units deployed along the Line of Control, where Pakistan is commonly seen breaching the ceasefire. This is being done under emergency powers to be war-ready in post-Pulwama attack-like situations.
Defense Minister Rajnath Singh was briefed by Army officials in a recent meeting about plans to purchase the guided ammunition from the U.S., which uses GPS to identify and hit targets located at more-than-50km distance.
The U.S. developed the Excalibur ammunition for improving artillery shells’ accuracy in Afghanistan War, which is being fought by the Americans for two decades now.
The M-777 ultra-light howitzers, which are also U.S.-made, are also being inducted by the Indian Army; these can be used for firing the Excalibur ammunition. Besides Indian Army, the Indian Air Force is also upgrading its hoard, as it recently acquired the Strum Ataka anti-tank guided missiles for its Mi-35 attack helicopters and the Spice 2000 bombs, made by Israel, for its fighter jets.