Raytheon Tests Air-Launched Guided Bomb from UAS

Raytheon Missile Systems says that it has completed initial flight testing of its smallest air-launched guided weapon aboard a small unmanned aircraft.

In a so-called captive-carry test in mid-September, the 12-pound Small Tactical Munition (STM) was flown aboard a Raytheon Cobra unmanned aircraft system at Yuma Proving Grounds, the company announced on Wednesday.

“Raytheon developed STM Phase II to provide the warfighter a weapon for Shadow-class UAS (unmanned aircraft systems) and counterinsurgency aircraft,” said Bob Francois, vice president of Advanced Missiles and Unmanned Systems for Raytheon Missile Systems. “STM is a mature, precise and affordable weapon and gives the warfighter flexibility to engage moving and static targets with minimal collateral damage.”

The test, involving a new, smaller configuration of the STM known as Phase II, paves the way for flight testing of the guided munition itself, Raytheon said.

Raytheon is developing  the satellite- and laser-guided STM for the US military’s smaller UAS, like the 11-foot-long RQ-7 Shadow used by the Marine Corps and Army, as well as for counterinsurgency aircraft.

STM Phase II is a new 12-pound, 22-inch long, precision-guided, gravity-dropped bomb specifically designed for employment from manned and unmanned aircraft systems. STM Phase II is more than two inches shorter than the Phase I design and has foldable fins and wings, enabling employment from the U.S. military’s common launch tube. STM Phase II’s easier assembly will make the system simpler to manufacture on a large scale.

Key Points:

  • At 12 pounds and 22 inches, STM is the smallest air-launched weapon in the Raytheon portfolio.
  • Has both GPS and semiactive laser guidance.
  • Small enough to be employed from the US military’s common launch tube.

Source: Arizona Daily Star; Press Release

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