As Lockheed Martin continues work on its Scalpel tactical munition, the company is also developing a dual-mode GPS and laser-guided version.
Scalpel is an armed version of Lockheed’s 190cm enhanced laser-guided training round (ELGTR). Rather than an inert training round, a small payload attached on board provides precision guidance with low collateral damage. The baseline design is ready and the weapon is ready to move into a formal development program with a customer, but Lockheed is not under a contract yet, Alan Jackson, vice-president of strike systems at Lockheed, tells FlightGlobal.
“We think customers are special forces, and, in general, operators of UAVs that are challenged with load out and at low weight requirements that go and perform specialised missions,” Jackson says.
But as special forces call for more precision guided munitions, Lockheed is adding a GPS capability to its baseline Scalpel to create “Scalpel Plus.” The augmented version shares the same outer mold line as Scalpel and almost the same weight with the added GPS, with an incremental price, Jackson says. The weapon will leverage Lockheed’s recent work on its developmental Dual Mode Plus, a new configuration of the Paveway II laser-guided bomb, he adds.
During recent demonstrations at China Lake, Lockheed deployed two Dual Mode Plus guidance kits integrated with unguided 226kg (500lb) Mk 82 warheads against fixed targets. The system adds GPS-inertial navigation to the Paveway II Plus’ existing semi-active laser guidance, as well as all-weather, moving target capability.
“Just like when we were providing ELGTRs that provide low cost training to the Navy, we are doing the same thing with the dual mode version of that,” Jackson says. “We’ve got a concept ready to go and it’s just a matter of which customer would like to work with us to finish development for their specific requirements.”
Compared to Dual Mode Plus guidance kits, which can be integrated on 500 to 2,000lb bombs, Scalpel Plus’ dimensions are suited for 100lb munitions and would allow more space on a platform.