The Weapon's Edge
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|Jean-Pierre Joosting||November 17th 2011|
Raytheon Company has completed testing and development of a new wireless method of integrating its combat-proven Enhanced Paveway precision-guided bomb on aircraft.
The new integration tool, called WiPak®, uses wireless technology similar to what is being used in many consumer wireless devices such as tablet computers. WiPak consists of a small wireless transmitter and pilot interface in the aircraft cockpit, and a small receiver affixed to the Paveway weapon.
"WiPak enables integration of Paveway on a variety of aircraft previously unable to carry the weapon, and WiPak does so without modifying aircraft wiring or changing flight and stores management software," said Harry Schulte, Raytheon Missile Systems' vice president of Air Warfare Systems. "With WiPak, aviators can easily and quickly employ Paveway for a small fraction of what it would cost to integrate Paveway through traditional means."
Raytheon has integrated WiPak on the Embraer Super Tucano counterinsurgency aircraft and is in the process of testing and deploying the system on similar aircraft.
The combat-proven Paveway is a kit that transforms "dumb" bombs into precision-guided weapons. Paveway II and Paveway III are laser-guidance kits, while the Enhanced Paveway II, Enhanced Paveway III and Paveway IV use both laser and GPS guidance. More than 300,000 Paveways are in the inventory of 43 nations. The Paveway family of weapons is integrated on 25 aircraft and thousands of Paveways have been used in combat.
Jean-Pierre Joosting writes for EE Times from where this article is adapted.