PAS 2011: Raytheon moves into next phase of STM tests
In line with the increasing trend to weaponise UAVs, Raytheon is testing out its offering in the form of its new Small Tactical Munition (STM).
Three tests were conducted on a prototype of the weapon a year ago, and it is now being tested on a Cobra UAS, with the company seeing how far it can go in its testing on internal funds, Jean-Charles Lede, Raytheon director of advanced missiles and unmanned systems told Shephard at Paris Air Show on 22 June.
'We feel confident that where the UASs are going is weaponisation,' Lede commented.
'When you look at the mission, in the best case you find the bad guy, but you need to take care of it. You can't wait half an hour, and if you're trying to reduce the timeline then it means having a lot of other bigger platforms available which means your costs are going through the roof.'
Last year's tests led to the company focusing on two main areas for the missile: affordability through the use of off-the-shelf parts, cheaper components, part count and reduction of assembly time; and changing the launch method to tube launched.
Lede said that roughly six to eight STMs could replace a Hellfire missile in a mission, and for a much cheaper rate.
The company is working on the exportability of the munition. Lede pointed out that it can also be used on a manned platform, and the company is planning to do research into its applications to helicopters.
The missile comes in two modes, semi-active laser and/or GPS, and aims to increase precision strike. The warhead on the missile is less than 7lb, and the combination of the enhanced precision and small warhead makes it an effective weapon with low collateral damage, according to Lede.
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