2 April 2010
81mm RCFC test (photo : Defense Industry Daily)
General Dynamics Demonstrates Precision Strike Capability for Tactical UAVs with 81mm Air-Dropped Guided Mortar
BOTHELL, Wash. – General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems has successfully guided an 81mm Air-Dropped Guided Mortar (ADM) to a stationary ground target. The guide-to-target flight demonstrations, conducted at Ft. Sill, Okla., confirmed the ability of the 81mm ADM using a novel guidance kit and fuze to provide a precision strike capability for Tactical-Class Unmanned Aircraft (TUAV). The ADM was released from a TUAV using the company’s newly developed “Smart Rack” carriage and release system that enables weaponization of any TUAV platform.
Application of RCFC technology to the 81mm air-dropped guided mortar has been developed in conjunction with the U.S. Army’s Armament Research Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC) in Picatinny Arsenal, N.J. ARDEC developed and successfully tested environmental sensors for the guidance kit’s fuzing system. The results from the Ft. Sill flight tests built on previously successful 81mm air-dropped guided mortar guide-to-target flight demonstrations by General Dynamics and ARDEC in Kingman, Ariz., in December 2008.
RQ-7 Shadow as a tactical UAV platform (photo : Defense Industry Daily)
Designed to meet the needs of the U.S. Army, Marine Corps and Special Forces for a rapid target response capability, the ADM uses existing mortar inventory to provide a low-cost, lightweight weapon system with proven energetics. The company’s patented Roll Controlled Fixed Canard (RCFC) guidance kit, with an innovative flight-control and GPS-based guidance and navigational system, adds precision strike capability to existing mortars. The nose-mounted guidance kit replaces existing mortar fuzes and has been successfully demonstrated on multiple mortar calibers in both air-drop and tube-launch applications and provides a common, multi-platform Guidance, Navigation and Control (GNC) and integrated weapon system for unmanned aircraft.
The tube-launched application is a low-cost guidance approach that has been successfully demonstrated at Yuma Proving Grounds in a tactical 120mm guided mortar configuration known as the Roll Controlled Guided Mortar (RCGM). The tube launched 120mm RCGM uses the existing warhead and the M934A1 fuze.