The Royal Dutch Armyʼs Excalibur 155 mm precision-guided artillery rounds were qualified for use during the week of 15 October after several were fired by Panzerhaubitze (PzH) 2000 self-propelled howitzers during exercise ʻDragon Supremacyʼ at the Älvdalen shooting range in Sweden, the Dutch Ministry of Defence (MoD) reported on its website on 17 October.
The Netherlands is the first European NATO member to possess Excalibur rounds, joining Australia, Canada, Sweden, and the United States.
After it was procured by the Netherlands in 2015, small cracks were found in Excalibur, which took years to investigate, resulting in the delay in qualification, according to the MoD. A spokesperson for Raytheon, which manufactures Excalibur, told Janeʼs , "All warhead questions have been resolved and we are in production."
The Dutch MoD said the rounds can be fired at targets 50 km (30 miles) away, with collateral damage being limited because they use top attack.
Dutch artillery commander Lieutenant Colonel Rienk Sijbrandi said Excalibur would change the performance of Dutch units, giving them the capability to conduct deep operations.
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