GPS-guided bomb will compete for RAF's primary strike weapon requirement, as MBDA, Boeing and Insys bid JDAM

Raytheon Systems UK (RSL) is offering a new version of its Paveway guided bomb for the UK's Precision Guided Bomb (PGB)competition. Paveway IV combines elements from other Raytheon programmes to provide a primarily GPS satellite-navigation guided weapon. The offer, however, includes options for laser and infrared (IR) guidance as well as the Leigh Aerosystems Longshot range-extension wing kit.

The PGB will be the Royal Air Force's primary strike weapon and will be based around a 227kg (500lb) Mk82 bomb. GPS will be the primary aiming system after laser-guidance problems in bad weather during operations in the Balkans. MBDA, teamed with Boeing and Insys, is offering the JDAM weapon.

RSL business development manager weapons systems Dean Mason says Paveway IV has a new control and guidance section derived from Raytheon's GPS assisted inertial navigation system, initially developed as part of a USAir Force operational requirement from Kosovo. GPS anti-jam and anti-spoofing systems are also integrated, adds Mason.

The optional laser seeker is the same as on existing bombs, but is integrated with the GPS unit. RSL is also offering the Damask infrared seeker developed for the US Navy. Closeto the target, Damask compares the scene ahead of the bomb with a previously uploaded IR image of the target, improving terminal guidance. The seeker section can be fitted to any warhead up to 910kg "further increasing flexibility", says Mason.

The Paveway IV's new nose section also contains a height-of-burst sensor, which is part of the fuzing system that will be provided by UK-based Thales Missile Electronics.

Although the warhead is essentially the USMk82, Lockheed Martin will design in atarget penetration capability. SEI in Italy, which has an insensitive munitions capability, will produce the warheads.

A new hardback - the physical interface between the weapon and the aircraft pylon - has been developed by UK-based MBM Technology. The hardback incorporates the 1760 databus interface as well as the bomb mounting lugs.

Other team members include RSL collaborators Portsmouth Aviation, which will build the tail unit - the same as the existing design. RSL is proposing a dual bomb rack and is considering the EDOBRU-57 or General Dynamics UK/MBM Raider. Mason says RSL is offering "growth options" including the ability to integrate the weapon into a net-centric warfare architecture.

Source: Flight International