“Paveway” or “paveway?” It Depends Who’s Talking

 - December 16, 2008, 5:30 AM

Lockheed Martin last month secured a $30 million contract from the U.S. Air Force for more “paveway” II laser-guided bomb (LGB) kits. Why the use of lower-case to describe this well known “smart” weapon, many thousands of which have been dropped from Western combat aircraft? It’s because LM and Raytheon compete as a dual-source suppliers of the LGB kits, and the two corporations are in a long-running legal dispute over terminology. “We claim ‘Paveway’ as a trademark,’ a Raytheon official told AIN, “whereas [Lockheed Martin says] it is a generic term.” He added that Raytheon is particularly concerned about protecting its substantial export business for the LGB, including the new Paveway IV for the UK Royal Air Force, which was accepted for service this month. “Lockheed Martin doesn’t have any export sales, but it would like to have some,” the Raytheon official claimed. LM said that it has supplied more than 40,000 paveway LGB kits to U.S. and international customers.