A trials campaign is continuing for the Royal Air Force, with a test aircraft carrying up to six of the 226kg (500lb) weapons, which feature laser and GPS guidance modes to provide an all-weather strike capability.
RSL says the first Paveway IV drop was performed on 18 June, and that “15 releases are planned in the very near future to evaluate the safe release and jettison envelope in different aircraft store configurations, altitudes and speeds.”
© Raytheon Systems Ltd
Work has also recently been performed to assess the shock and vibration effects of using the Typhoon’s Mauser 27mm cannon while carrying Paveway IV environmental test rounds, says RSL.
The Paveway IV entered frontline use with the UK’s Joint Force Harrier-operated BAE Systems Harrier GR9/9A strike aircraft late last year in Afghanistan. The weapon was also recently cleared for carriage by the RAF’s Panavia Tornado GR4s now deployed to the country’s Kandahar airfield under an urgent operational upgrade to the type.