Special forces need special weapons. Israeli companies have developed many such weapons that, in most cases, are kept out of any export list. They have been developed for Israel’s needs only.
But this effort sometimes produces systems that can be exported. In recent years Elbit Systems, one of Israel’s major defence contractors, has been co-operating with ATK on the development of a special air-ground system for special forces with those special requirements.
The two companies have recently received a contract through the Defense Acquisition Challenge (DAC) programme to provide a low-cost, lightweight, precision-guided missile/rocket for the US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) evaluation.
The missile incorporates lock-on before and after launch and employs a penetrating warhead with sufficient kinetic energy to defeat hardened targets.
The project directly supports a USSOCOM requirement that the companies are ready to meet with their Guided Advanced Tactical Rocket (GATR) and Precision Guided Rocket Launcher (PGRL).
The DAC project for ATK and ELBIT’s GATR and PGRL is to validate desired operational and ballistic performance while employed from USSOCOM AI platforms. During the project, ATK and ELBIT will provide GATR missiles and PGRL digital smart launchers for environmental testing and operational evaluation on MH-60L/M rotary-wing platforms.
GATR’s characteristics include: a semi-active laser seeker used in combat-proven laser joint direct attack munition (LJDAM), fully-qualified multi-purpose penetrator M282 warhead and an outstanding launching envelope.
GATR is launched from ATK’s PGRL digital launcher and is available in three-, seven- and 19-tube variants, providing numerous stowed kills and is compatible with employing legacy unguided Hydra rockets.
The two companies say that the PGRL can be seamlessly integrated on to air platforms using existing digital and analogue fire control systems and can provide digital stores management for all loaded weapons.