The General Atomics Predator-B drone, or MQ-9 Reaper aircraft, has completed the first live releases of sat-nav guided weapons.
General Atomics, Aeronautical Systems, Raytheon, L-3 Communications and NAWC-WD conducted the testing that consisted of six successful GBU-49 releases in one day.
The first two drops were inert weapons to ensure the GBU-49’s GPS guidance was working properly.
The final release employed four weapons at one time, also known as a ripple, with three weapons on GPS guidance and the fourth weapon guided by laser.
The three GPS weapons achieved direct hits of their targets on the ground, while the laser-guided weapon came very close.
The GBU-49 is a laser-guided, 500-pound bomb similar to the GBU-12, but it also includes an on-board GPS kit.