AUVSI: Raytheon offers up Griffin for UAS
Raytheon is in early talks with the US Army, Navy and Air Force to integrate its Griffin lightweight, precision kinetic effects munition onto a variety of UAS, company officials have told Unmanned Vehicles.
Speaking to UV at AUVSI on 26 August, Raytheon business development senior manager for air warfare systems, Everett Tackett, said 'conversations' had taken place with a variety of users regarding compatibility. However, he stressed that no test flights had yet taken place.
'We have had conversations regarding fit checks and looked at interfaces,' Tackett said while referring to discussions with the army for its Grey Eagle UAS and navy for the Fire Scout UAS. Additionally, he said Griffin would be suitable for any 'group two' tactical UASs or larger and hinted at a possible demonstration in 2011.
Griffin was originally designed for the US Special Operations Command and has been launched from the MC-130W 'Dragon Spear' gunship, although Tackett was unable to comment on whether this capability had been used on active deployment.
A 33 lb munition measuring 43 inches in length, the Griffin Block II B Missile comprises less than half the weight of a Hellfire round and includes a 13 lb warhead. It has a 15 km range when air-launched, which is reduced to around 5.5 km when ground-launched, Tackett added. To date, it has also been fired from the US Army Remote Weapon Station, multi-round Wedge launcher and Kiowa Warrior and Smart Launcher manned helicopters.
Designed as an air and ground launched, low-collateral damage weapon for 'irregular warfare operations', Griffin Block II comprises semi-active laser seeker, fuze, warhead, motor and control actuator system. It relies on either GPS coordinates, inertial navigation or laser designation and an operator is able to switch between height-of-burst, point detonation and delayed fuzes in 'seconds' before firing. A multiple-round-simultaneous-impact capability is also available.
The 'A' round is designed as an aft-eject missile, designed for integration on aircraft and the 'B' round as a forward-firing missile which can be fired from unmanned, rotary-wing and ground platforms.
'Griffin has successfully engaged moving vehicle targets in several demonstrations,' a Raytheon spokesman said.
By Andrew White, Denver
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