US Army tests Raytheon Griffin missile for FOB protection

16 February 2012 (Last Updated February 16th, 2012 04:30)

The US Army has conducted testing to network Raytheon developed Griffin B missile to an ISTAR sensor payload, designed to safeguard Forward Operating Bases (FOBs) and small combat outposts in Afghanistan.

The US Army has conducted testing to network Raytheon developed Griffin B missile to an ISTAR sensor payload, designed to safeguard Forward Operating Bases (FOBs) and small combat outposts in Afghanistan.

During the testing conducted at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, US, the soldiers fired a Griffin missile from a launcher and engaged a static target located 4km away using Global Positioning Systems (GPS) coordinates generated by the tethered aerostat, achieving all test objectives.

The company, however, did not reveal whether it used its own Rapid Aerostat Initial Deployment (RAID) system or the Lockheed Martin-developed Persistent Threat Detection System (PTDS) for the testing. Both aerostats are used in theatre within Afghanistan.

Raytheon Missile Systems' Air Warfare Systems product line vice president, Harry Schulte, said: "Griffin enables ground forces to protect their locations by precisely engaging targets in a 360-degree radius."

Weighing 44lb with its launch tube, the Griffin is a forward-firing, air and ground-launched, precision-guided missile designed for rapid integration onto rotary and fixed-wing aircraft and ground-launch applications.

The missile enables the war-fighter to engage targets through a user-friendly graphic interface and guide the weapon to the target using GPS coordinates or laser designation.

In order to maximise effectiveness of the weapon system, an operator can select a variety of detonation options including air-burst, point detonation and fuse delay.

The missile is currently under production and has already been integrated onto the C-130 Harvest Hawk and MC-130W Dragon Spear airframes as well as some ground vehicles.

Griffin A is an aft-eject missile designed to fire from non-conventional platforms including the C-130 aircraft during irregular warfare so as to satisfy special operations requirements.

Raytheon secured regular funding for its Griffin B Block II missile production in 2011 with the US Special Operations Command (SOCOM) incorporating the lightweight missile into its 2012 budget.