Equipping small bombs (complex JDAM) contains:
— laser seeker from «Elbit»;
— receiver of GPS;
— system inertial guidance.
According to the developers, this bomb highest accuracy will be very effective for the implementation of urban criteria and winding up skinned objects. Will allow precision bombs to kill the target in a certain room without severe damage to adjoining premises. Since the introduction of the mini bombs «Hatchet» to arm the UAV RQ-7 Shadow turns it into a real mini bomber, who may for a long time, is in the air and when instructed to use his armament.
In Afghanistan and Iraq, aircraft of the United States and NATO units not podymali in the sky for more than an hour. Exception — UAV RQ-7B Shadow. Moreover, not all aircraft can carry more than the best possible coverage areas than unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). But while the drones had no weapons, nor the ability to issue a laser target designation. In the best case, the operator RQ-7B Shadow detection goal gave the position to work on it for artillery or helicopters.
At this point, for the drones are developing new weapons systems, guidance and navigation systems. South American military were overcome various barriers to the introduction of combat drones class lower than the same MQ-1 Predator. For a long time the development of unmanned weapons, stood in one place. U.S. military finally determine and decided to equip virtually all existing armed drones. Already there are discussions of different variants of the armed UAS that special operations will be able to not only do the intelligence function, and make a purely military tasks. At the moment, the U.S. military efforts are focused on improving military UAS from a few hundred to a few thousand.
Military U.S. industry began to create different types of weapons and ammunition in anticipation of the promulgation of the requirements for the type UAVs RQ-7 Shadow class or less. Once installed in 2002 on the drone «RQ-1 Predators» rocket «Lockheed Martin AGM-114 Hellfires» class "air-surface", the Defense Ministry is launching programs to integrate into different weapons made by ALS. Namely, it is in the program notes of the ammunition (such as bomb or missile). For the introduction on board the drone of small arms, ALS is not yet ripe.
But nedavneshnego time is the smallest of the existing missiles «AGM-114" with a mass of 49 kg, exceeds the highest payload ALS «RQ-7B» 10 pounds, and needed to use it to remove certain specified equipment, and drone became virtually blind. In 2004, work began on the creation of precision-guided munitions specifically for ALS class type RQ-7 and below. In the spring of 2010 «army's Aviation» and «Missile Command» make a request for a new type of high-precision weapons weighing 11.3 kilos less for weapons ALS. These new high ammunition planned to be installed on UAVs such as «RQ-7" together with an optical sensor and laser designator.
Within a few months at Farnborough MBDA showed an extended range of small bombs (SABER). This family of small munitions weighing from 4.5 to 13.6 kilogram. «SABER» became the first ammunition that have been made in the search for weapons for the military equipment such as drones «Shadow».
In August 2010 the company «Raytheon» showed small tactical ammunition. They had a length of 61 cm, width 10 cm and weight of 5.9 kilogram with a receiver GPS, inertial navigation system and a semi-active laser homing run.
The company «ATK» just starts the game on the market of small precision-guided munitions. In April 2012, she presented the development of the 60-mm «Hatchet» weighing 1.81 kilogram. It has two sets of three fin (airfoils), tail-driven, and manage the system. It has been demonstrated use of multiple virtual «Hatchet» to hit the mobile SAMs.
But the plans of the U.S. military have changed again. Armament «RQ-7" is used in the Marine Corps delayed. Although it is known to command the Marine Corps plans, announced in December 2011, the receipt of ammunition for ALS 12 months after the signing of the contract for their creation. This is absolutely logical step for the U.S. Marine Corps. According to reports, patrol UAVs RQ-7 show a large number of targets, and associated military aircraft did not have time to come and storm the goals — goals identified either disappear or quickly go from the area of detection. Without looking at the urgent request of unit commanders Marines are in Afghanistan to get ammunition for ALS, the proposal for the establishment (the agreement) with any manufacturer of ammunition similar to this day has not been released (not signed), commanded by U.S. Marine. Informed sources they say that this is due to the first neuvvyazkami compliance with international agreements on small arms ALS.
And though the MQ-1 Predator armed with no problems as far back as 2002, then at the moment armament RQ-7 can draw on a breach of contract the elimination of intermediate-range and lower (INF). In the meantime, there is a discussion of weapons Basi of solving problems, the industry expects that the recent contests will begin on the development of high-precision ammunition for small unmanned aircraft systems. at this time, began research on programmke «LMAMS» — flying small aircraft ordnance systems. The U.S. Air Force has identified the development of programs from almost 10 million dollars. Possible deliveries are scheduled after the tests after about 2013.
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