The Philippine Air Force, through Philippine Air Force Bids and Awards Committee (PAFBAC) has invited Elbit Systems Ltd. to bid for a programme to supply the service with lightweight laser-guided rocket systems. The Philippine Air Force will undertake Guided Advance Tactical Rocket (GATR) Guidance System Acquisition Project with an Approved Budget for the Contract (ABC) amounting to PhP156,785,590.00 (USD3 million). The notice said Elbit and IMOD-SIBAT, the International Defence Cooperation Directorate of the Israel Ministry of Defence, had been invited to attend procurement meetings and to submit pricing documents.
In a tender procurement notice issued by the PAF in late November it said the proposed procurement would proceed on a sole-source basis through an inter-government agreement between the Philippines and Israel. The notice also informs that the procurement featured Elbit Systems’ 70 mm Guided Advanced Tactical Rocket (GATR) system, which is deployable from fixed- and rotary-wing military aircraft. The GATR requirement is believed to stem from the Philippine Air Force (PAF)’s experience in counter-insurgency operations against Islamic State-linked militants in the city of Marawi in the Philippines during 2017.
The Guided Advanced Tactical Rocket (GATR) is an advanced laser guidance kit installed on 68/70mm rockets to convert them into precision-guided weapons with high-precision strike capabilities under development by Orbital ATK and Elbit Systems. It is intended to provide a low-cost guided missile compatible with existing unguided 70mm rocket launch platforms such as the Hydra 70. GATR is being developed as part of the Defence Acquisition Challenge (DAC) programme to supply the US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) with an affordable and lightweight guided missile / rocket. ATK systems and Elbit Systems received a $3.2m contract to provide an affordable and lightweight guided precision rocket and precision guided rocket launcher (PGRL) to the USSOCOM for evaluation. The USSOCSOM will evaluate the GATR and PGRL on the MH-60L/M rotary wing platform.
The penetrating version of the GATR is equipped with a steel-cased M282 warhead and a programmable fuze. It can be set from the cockpit to detonate on impact or after a delay and is capable of penetrating a triple-brick wall and light-vehicle armor. The Guided Advanced Tactical Rocket (GATR) is designed to greatly improve hit probability, engage targets at very long range (up to 10km) and significantly reduce collateral damage, especially in crowded urban warfare scenarios. GATR is equipped with a cutting-edge warhead, which can penetrate concrete, and has an advanced Electronic Safe and Arm fuze. The system can be launched from combat vehicles, stationary launchers, helicopters and fighter aircraft and is designed for missions against stationary or fast moving targets that are either soft or lightly armored.