2ft Small Tactical Munitions to arm the U.S. military’s Shadow UAV...
UAVs have changed warfare for good, but the problem that plagues most lightweight drones is that they are simply too light to support heavy munitions.
Noting that problem, Raytheon has developed a small precision missile that can be carried by drones much smaller than the Predator and Raptors that rule the skies above the battlefield.
The Small Tactical Munitions, essentially designed to arm 12ft long Shadow UAV, measure less than 2 feet in length and are 10 times lighter than the Hellfire missile carried by larger drones.
Raytheon Small Tactical Munitions
The new bombs will not only allow smaller UAVs to carry munitions, they will also allow bigger aircraft to carry far more weapons than currently possible. Needless to say both these advantages will significantly increase the US fleet’s arsenal.
The missile has been under development since 2009, but the wait may soon be over as Raytheon say it is just ‘tweaking software and running some environmental tests.’ [AIN Online.]
You can see the new missile, and its digital semi-active laser guidance system being tested at the Yuma proving grounds, November, 2011.