Raytheon has successfully completed the air worthiness release (AWR) certification of the Talon laser-guided rocket (LGR) onboard the Boeing-built AH-64D/E Apache attack helicopter.
Jointly conducted with the US Army, the certification allows for the potential operational deployment of the weapon system on both the US Army Apaches and the international Apache fleets.
Raytheon Talon programme director Darryl Kreitman said: "With completion of the AWR, we can offer Apache customers an affordable guided-rocket solution that provides capability within the current Hydra-70 rocket firing envelope.
"Talon's architecture and ease of employment make it a low-cost, highly precise weapon for missions in urban environments, counter insurgency and swarming boat defence missions."
A joint development effort between Raytheon and the UAE-based Emirates Advanced Investments (EAI), the Talon LGR is a low-cost, digital semi-active laser guidance and control kit, which is designed to convert 'dumb' 2.75in/70mm helicopter-borne rockets into guided weapons.
Capable of launching from any aircraft that fires 2.75in unguided rockets using the standard M260/261 launchers, the weapon requires no hardware or software modifications to the launcher or aircraft platform, and bridges the critical operational capability gap between unguided rockets and guided, heavy anti-tank missiles. It is also fully compatible with current airborne and ground laser designators.
Image: The Talon laser-guided rocket completed AWR certification onboard the US Army's AH-64D/E Apache attack helicopter. Photo: courtesy of US Army Sgt Andy Dunaway.