Raytheon has successfully fired a series of Talon laser guided rocket (LGR) shots from AH-64 Apache attack helicopters during recent trials at an undisclosed location.

The series, covering launch of 25 rockets from both Apache D and E models, is expected to help define the US Army’s small guided munitions requirement and acquisition strategy, while developing combat tactics, techniques and procedures for use with guided Hydra-70 rockets.

Raytheon Talon laser guided rocket programme director Darryl Kreitman said: "Talon remains the lowest cost and most flexible guided rocket option for the warfighter.

"Unlike other guided rockets, Talon requires no lifecycle maintenance, does not contain the complexity of a roll bearing joint and can be purchased as a guidance kit or an all up round."

The rocket can be fired without hardware modifications to the launch platform or proprietary launchers.

"Talon remains the lowest cost and most flexible guided rocket option."

Since securing Apache D / E model air worthiness certification in April 2014, the rocket has continued to expand the engagement envelops and enhance Apache rocket load-out options.

The aerial tests demonstrated the rocket’s flexibility and effectiveness against a broad spectrum of threats, including unarmoured and lightly armoured vehicles, while stationary and manoeuvring, under various launch conditions.

A joint development between Raytheon and Emirates Advanced Investments, Talon LGR is a low-cost, digital, semi-active laser guidance and control kit designed to convert ‘dumb’ 2.75in / 70mm helicopter-borne rockets into guided weapons.

Talon is fully compatible with existing airborne and ground laser designators and bridges the critical operational capability gap between unguided rockets and guided, heavy anti-tank missiles.

In addition, its architecture and ease of employment increases its suitability for missions in urban environments, as well as counter-insurgency, and swarming boat defence operations.