FARNBOROUGH: Raytheon and QinetiQ complete trials on compact penetrator warhead

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Raytheon (chalet A20-21) and QinetiQ have completed "sled trials" of a new compact penetrator warhead at the UK's Pendine test range.

The compact penetrator warhead has the same outer mold-line and mass as the Paveway IV 500lb (227kg) laser and global positioning system guided bomb, but has increased penetration capability.

The two companies have been working with Thales under the UK's Weapon Technology Centre compact penetrator programme. The 25-month endeavour includes assessments on weapons handling, such as how the bomb is transported, handled and carried.

"With this latest development, coupled with our own technological investment and partnerships with UK industry, Raytheon UK continues to advance the potential of Paveway IV to meet the emerging needs of the UK's armed forces," says Bob Delorge, head of Raytheon UK.

Meanwhile, the UK is buying additional Paveway IV rounds to replenish those expended over Libya during Operation Ellamy. Raytheon will start deliveries on the £60 million ($94 million) contract this month.

In addition, the UK will buy a further £14 million worth of Paveways in a follow-on contract.