In the current fiscal environment in which big-ticket missile programs have been shelved, restructured or cancelled altogether, Raytheon is looking at innovative ways to add capabilities to existing systems. “You’ve got to see what you can do with what you’ve got,” explained Harry Schulte, Raytheon’s v-p Air Warfare Systems. “The money’s not going to be there for the big programs, but the enemy doesn’t care about that, and we still need to address the shortfalls.”
The UK Ministry of Defence has conceived three elements of its Selective Precision Effects At Range (SPEAR) program:
• Capability 1 is the various proposed upgrades to the Paveway IV described in this article;
Hawker Beechcraft completed a series of weapons delivery tests from its AT-6 light attack and reconnaissance aircraft, dropping eight laser-guided bombs as part of an ongoing operational assessment by the U.S. Ai
Missile developers in the U.S. are working on new weapons that combine the effects and capabilities of several previous munitions into single weapons, with the aim of significantly reducing the number of types held in the inventory and dramatically increasing the in-flight flexibility of aircraft and helicopters compared with current armament options.
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is showing off its latest precision-guided munition here at Le Bourget.
Raytheon’s growing portfolio of precision munitions is to expand with the development of a new smart missile to arm small UAVs that are current unable to carry weapons. Initial flight tests have produced good results, and the small tactical missile (STM) is gearing up for more advanced testing in the coming weeks.
Following a successful test last fall, Raytheon’s fifth-generation AIM-9X–the principal short-range air-to-air missile employed by U.S. forces–could become a part of the air-to-surface inventory for employment against both land and sea targets.
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.
In partnership with the U.S. Air Force, Raytheon Missile Systems is developing a new version of its combat-proven AGM-88 high-speed anti-radiation missile (HARM), which significantly increases its combat versatility and effectiveness, while making it more applicable to modern rules of warfare.
Just as those responsible for fighting wars now talk in terms of “effects”–as opposed to material assets–when discussing battle management and the equipment available to them, so defense contractors increasingly talk about “solutions” rather than products.
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