Textron's sensor fuzed smart submunition will detect and attack multiple targets

Live drop tests of Textron Systems' BLU-108 sensor-fuzed weapon smart submunition from a DRS Technologies Sentry HP unmanned air vehicle (UAV) have taken place at Eglin AFB, Florida, as part of continuing efforts to develop a greater weapons capability for small UAVs.

Developed by Textron in partnership with the US Air Force as part of the CBU-97 sensor fuzed weapon air-to-surface munition programme, the BLU-108 is designed to detect and attack multiple targets. The CBU-97 ejects 10 BLU-108s, each of which contains four heat-seeking Skeet warheads weighing 3.4kg (7.5lb). On release, the rocket-powered Skeets can travel outwards around 125m (410ft) in search of targets ranging from battle tanks to soft-skinned assets such as parked aircraft or air defence vehicles.

The tests at Eglin follow the completion of earlier flight demonstrations of the BLU-108 with a Sentry HP at the US Army's Battlelab at Redstone Arsenal. Further developments of the BLU-108, integrated with the 3.8m span UAV using the lightweight MA-4B bomb rack, will include tests of a Selectively Targeted Skeet (STS).

This is designed to be dropped from a higher altitude and, using a top-mounted spin stabilisation unit and a sycamore leaf-shaped 'samara wing', will be aimed at specific target areas.

For even higher altitude delivery, Textron is also developing a small wind-corrected guidance package for the STS tail and a flight guidance-unit equipped parafoil.

* General Atomics has begun a series of flight tests to clear the use of the Joint Direct Attack Munition, Hellfire and Small Diameter Bomb on its Predator MQ-9B UAV, following the successful completion of drop tests of the 230kg GBU-12 Paveway II laser-guided bomb at the China Lake Naval Air Weapons test site in California. The GBU-12 was interfaced with the UAV using an adapted version of the BRU-15/A bomb rack used on the Lockheed Martin P-3B/C Orion.



Source: Flight International