by David Crane
defrev at gmail dot com
Back in May, DefenseReview learned that Raytheon is teaming with an Abu-Dhabi, UAE-based company called Emirates Advanced Investments (EAI) to create an advanced semi-active-laser-guided 2.75"/70mm Hydra rocket under the moniker "Laser Guided Rocket" (LGR).
The concept, of course, is nothing new. Back in September of last year, DefenseReview reported on the sudden demise of the BAE Systems Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System II (APKWS II) guided 2.75"/70mm Hydra rocket a.k.a. HELLFIRE Jr." a.k.a. "Mini-HELLFIRE" program, which followed the APKWS (no "II") program.
The goal of APKWS/APKWS II was to…
give helicopter pilots, UAS/UAV pilots, and potentially other warfighters a significantly less-expensive, if somewhat smaller and less lethal, AGM-114K HELLFIRE II-type precision-guided rocket/missile capability. To accomplish this, the BAE APKWS II developmental prototype utilized a Distributed Aperture Semi-Active Laser Seeker (DASALS), which is comprised of four laser seekers each mounted in one of the rocket’s pop-out forward wings. In that piece, we also mentioned the Lockheed Martin DAGR semi-active laser guidance kit for 2.75"/70mm Hydra rockets and the Magellan Aerospace/Kongsberg Defence & Aerorspace (KDA) CRV7-Precision Guided (CRV7-PG) 70mm rockets (2.75" rockets) that are designed to achieve the same result as APKWS II. As far as we know, DAGR and CRV7-PG (the precision-guided version of the CRV7 Rocket Weapon System) are still going (unconfirmed/unverified), but we haven’t researched this, yet.
Apparently, the Laser-Guided Rocket program isn’t just an important defense industry initiative for the United Arab Emirates. According to LGR program manager Richard Janik, it’s also intended to benefit the United States Army, Navy and Marine Corps. This is because "they would be able to obtain a fully qualified laser guided rocket that meets or exceeds all the guided 70 mm rocket requirements of the United States, without expending tens of millions of dollars of investment in research, evaluation, and testing," Janik says. Richard Janik was Raytheon’s APKWS II program Capture Manager before they lost the program to BAE Systems.
Defense Review doesn’t yet know the configuration/design of the LGR’s semi-active laser-guidance system, including the laser seeker layout.
Company Contact Info:
Raytheon Missile Systems
870 Winter Street
Waltham, MA 02451
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