Raytheon has successfully launched four Talon laser-guided rockets (LGR) from the MD 530G armed aerial scout (AAS) helicopter during a series of tests at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona, US.
Undertaken in collaboration with MD Helicopters, the test firings further demonstrated Talon’s maturity as a complement to MD’s AAS platform, and were followed by the weapon’s original equipment manufacturer certification.
Raytheon successfully completed the air worthiness release certification of the weapon on the Apache AH-64D/E attack helicopter in April.
Raytheon Talon programme director Darryl Kreitman said: "These test shots included four firings, showcasing Talon’s versatility over the entire firing envelope with direct hits for all events.
"In just a few months, Raytheon worked closely with MD to integrate Talon onto the MD 530G, subjecting the helicopter and rocket to number of realistic mission profiles.
"The successful testing once again demonstrated Talon’s precision guidance capabilities."
A joint development effort between Raytheon and Emirates Advanced Investments (EAI), 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.
The weapon can launch from any aircraft that fires 2.75in unguided rockets using the standard M260/261 launchers, and does not require hardware or software modifications to the launcher or aircraft platform.
Fully compatible with existing airborne and ground laser designators, Talon bridges the critical operational capability gap between unguided rockets and guided, heavy anti-tank missiles.
In addition, the weapon’s architecture and ease of employment increases its suitability for missions in urban environments, as well as counter insurgency and swarming boat defence missions.
Raytheon completed more than 35 Talon firings from the AH-64D Apache helicopter during the development and test programme.