Raytheon’s Talon laser-guided rocket was successfully fired from an MD Helicopters MD 530G light attack helicopter during a series of tests at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona.
Each of the four firings resulted in a direct hit, and served to demonstrate the capability of the digital semi-active laser guidance and control kit, which was co-developed with the United Arab Emirates, Raytheon says.
The MD 530G is the latest variant of MD Helicopters’ armed aerial scout, and is scheduled to receive certification later this year.
"In just a few months, Raytheon worked closely with MD to integrate Talon on to the MD 530G, subjecting the helicopter and rocket to number of realistic mission profiles," says Darryl Kreitman, Raytheon’s Talon programme director. "The successful testing once again demonstrated Talon’s precision guidance capabilities."
The firing tests and subsequent certification for Talon on the MD 530G follows the April certification for airworthiness release of the weapon on the Boeing AH-64D/E Apache attack helicopter.
During the Talon development and test programme, Raytheon carried out some 35 firings of the weapon from the AH-64D, readying it for potential operational deployment on US Army and international Apaches.
The Talon’s guidance section integrates directly to the front of the legacy 2.75in Hydra 70 unguided rocket, while its tail kit replaces the original weapon's wraparound tail kit.
Talon requires no hardware or software modifications to the launcher or airframe for any aircraft that fires 2.75in Hydra 70s using the standard M260/261 launchers, Raytheon adds.