GD and US Army test GPS-guided munition on Tiger Shark UAV

1 November 2012 (Last Updated November 1st, 2012 18:30)

General Dynamics (GD) Ordnance and Tactical Systems and the US Army Armament Research and Development Engineering Center (ARDEC) have conducted a joint GPS-guided weapons test with the Tiger Shark unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).

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General Dynamics (GD) Ordnance and Tactical Systems and the US Army Armament Research and Development Engineering Center (ARDEC) have conducted a joint GPS-guided weapons test with the Tiger Shark unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).

During the testing, the UAV launched an 81mm mortar from a height of 7,000ft and was guided to within 7m of a GPS-identified target grid in three separate engagements.

The mortar was equipped with GD's roll control fixed canard (RCFC) control system and an ARDEC-developed fusing solution to provide precision-strike capabilities.

GD Ordnance and Tactical Systems' Seattle operations general manager Mark Schneider said the effort demonstrated a low-cost, tactical version of a GPS strike weapon in the 10lbs-class for tactical UAV platforms that can be used to quickly engage and defeat targets.

"The air drop mortar (ADM) programme with General Dynamics provided a platform to successfully demonstrate and mature subsystems, including communication links, munitions deployment, guidance and control and fusing."

ARDEC Munitions senior associate Tony Sebasto said: "The air drop mortar (ADM) programme with General Dynamics provided a platform to successfully demonstrate and mature subsystems, including communication links, munitions deployment, guidance and control and fusing."

Using the existing mortar inventory, the ADM seeks to provide a low-cost, lightweight weapon system to meet the needs of the Army, US Marine Corps and Special Forces for a faster target response capability.

The nose-mounted RCFC guidance kit replaces existing mortar fuses to provide a common, multi-platform guidance, navigation and control (GNC) and integrated weapon system for the UAV.

It has already been tested on multiple mortar calibres in both air-drop and tube-launch applications.

"It gives the US warfighter an option for a very affordable and very capable precision strike weapon," Sebasto said..


Image: A Tiger Shark UAV conducting a mission. Photo: courtesy of US Navy.