Raytheon’s Purpose-Built UAS Bomb Ready For Live Tests
Raytheon’s new small tactical munition (STM), which the U.S. group claims is the first purpose-built weapon for tactical unmanned air systems (UAS), could be in active service within a few months. The U.S. group told AIN it is currently integrating the STM on “a couple of platforms that we can’t disclose,” while reporting interest from the U.S. Marines in weaponizing their Shadow UAS with the new device as well as possible special forces applications.
J.R. Smith, business development manager of Raytheon Missile Systems, said that this summer the company expects to conduct a live warhead demonstration. “We’re just tweaking the software and running some environmental tests,” he explained.
The STM is 22 inches long, 3.6 inches in diameter and weighs 13.5 pounds, and could be used on a UAS with a payload as low as 50 to 60 pounds. According to Smith, it also has value for use on larger UAS that would be more operationally flexible if they carried a larger number of weapons. For instance, the Predator would be able to carry 12 STMs, compared with just two of the larger Hellfire missiles. “This would have helped [in the NATO campaign] over Libya,” he commented.
Importantly, the STM has a full logical interface and users can change laser codes and fusing to control targeting and detonation. The weapon has the ability to attack moving targets has two odes of guidance, semi-active laser and GPS/INS. “This is relevant to the strict rules of engagement,” said Smith.
The STM’s seven-pound warhead is tailor-made for smaller UAS by Nammo-Tally. It can be used to attack personnel, light vehicles and structures.