31 Jul 14. Raytheon Company and MD Helicopters, Inc. successfully fired four TALON laser guided rockets from the MD 530G armed aerial scout (AAS) helicopter during a series of tests at Yuma Proving Ground, Ariz. TALON LGR is a low-cost, digital semi-active laser guidance and control kit co-developed with the United Arab Emirates. TALON’s guidance section integrates directly to the front of the legacy 2.75-inch Hydra-70 unguided rockets while its unique tail kit replaces the legacy Hydra-70 wraparound tail kit. This latest successful firing and subsequent original equipment manufacturer certification of TALON follows the recent certification in April for air worthiness release of the weapon on the Apache AH-64D/E attack helicopter. During TALON’s development program and test program, Raytheon completed more than 35 TALON firings from the AH-64D Apache, which has resulted in a solution that is ready for the international direct commercial sales customers today.
31 Jul 14. Raytheon Company’s Excalibur Ib precision guided projectile has entered full rate production (FRP). U.S. Army approval of FRP completes Excalibur Ib’s low rate initial production phase. Additionally, the U.S. Army has awarded Raytheon $52m for continued Excalibur Ib production. Earlier this year, the Army approved Excalibur Ib for Full Materiel Release (FMR) and awarded the projectile a Type Classification-Standard. That means Excalibur is safe for soldiers; it has been fully tested; it meets operational performance requirements, and it can be supported logistically within its intended operational environment. In recent tests, all projectiles scored direct hits on their intended targets. The projectile’s reliability, lethality and range are in excess of Army requirements and at all-time highs, while the unit cost has dropped significantly during the program’s lifetime. Raytheon is also developing Excalibur S, which incorporates a laser spot tracker in Excalibur’s guidance section. Excalibur S was tested successfully on May 7th at Yuma Proving Grounds. With Excalibur N5, a 5 inch/127mm variant of the projectile, Raytheon is bringing this proven technology to the maritime domain. A live fire demonstration of the Excalibur N5 is planned for later this year.
29 Jul 14. The Raytheon Company and Lockheed Martin Javelin Joint Venture recently fired a Javelin missile from a remote weapon station integrated onto a wheeled vehicle at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama. The test demonstrated Javelin’s vehicle-launch capability to an international customer that has expressed interest in purchasing vehicles integrated with Javelin. The Javelin missile launched successfully and hit a T-62 tank target from a range of 1,000 meters. Immediately after missile launch, the remote weapon station engaged an alternate target with its ballistic weapon, demonstrating a seamless Javelin integration that supports the warfighter’s requirement to quickly transition between multiple weapon systems.
29 Jul 14. US Navy planning to put laser weapons on helicopters. Taking the next step in the development of fielded directed energy weapons, the Navy is looking to put laser guns into the air aboard helicopters.
In a presolicitation released yesterday, the Navy announced that the High Energy Fiber Laser (HELF) Project Office of the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division is looking to procure systems engineering and technical assistance for the development of its High Energy Laser Weapons System (HELWS). HELWS is envisioned to be an airborne directed energy weapon that would complement current kinetic weapons, according to the Office of Naval Research. The weapon is expected to be used in both defensive and offensive applications – such as attacking in target rich environments or conducting hard kills of man-portable air-defense systems. The Navy is envisioning the laser as a low-cost-per-shot weapon to be used against low-end asymmetric threats, freeing up more traditional ki