Category Archives: Missiles and Bombs

Rafael Teams with Lockheed Martin To Market SPICE Air-to-Surface Guidance Kits

Rafael Teams with Lockheed Martin To Market SPICE Air-to-Surface Guidance Kits

Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd., of Israel, signed a teaming agreement to jointly develop, market, manufacture and support Rafael’s Smart, Precise Impact and Cost-Effective (SPICE™) guidance kits for U.S. sale. The “SPICE” is an Israeli-developed, EO/GPS-guided guidance kit for converting air-droppable unguided bombs into precision guided bombs in a GPS-denied environment. Moreover, it is a ‘fire and forget’ weapon that automatically goes to its target once launching relying only on its navigation/seeker system. A derivative of the “Popeye” (AGM-142 Have Nap) air-to-surface missile, the “Spice” is a product of Israeli company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. In use since 2003, SPICE is combat-proven and in service with the Israeli Air Force and several other nations worldwide.

Rafael Teams with Lockheed Martin To Market SPICE Air-to-Surface Guidance Kits

Rafael Teams with Lockheed Martin To Market SPICE Air-to-Surface Guidance Kits


“Access to GPS is becoming increasingly limited in contested environments,” said Mr. Yuval Miller, executive vice president and general manager of Rafael’s Air & C4ISR Division. “SPICE provides a solution to this challenge. Finalizing this exclusive agreement sets the scene for our two companies to provide unmatched mid-range guided air-to-surface weapon systems to enhance mission flexibility and success.” “SPICE offers the U.S. Department of Defense and many allies a capability that no other weapon currently in inventory provides,” said John Varley, vice president at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “By applying our expertise in aircraft integration, mission planning and tailkit design, along with our experience in affordable streamlined production, we will adapt SPICE to meet U.S. standards so bomber and fighter aircraft can benefit from the added mission flexibility that SPICE offers.”
Rafael Teams with Lockheed Martin To Market SPICE Air-to-Surface Guidance Kits

Rafael Teams with Lockheed Martin To Market SPICE Air-to-Surface Guidance Kits


The teaming agreement covers the SPICE 1000 (1,000 pound/453 kilogram weight class) and SPICE 2000 (2,000 pound/907 kilogram weight class) kit variants. Over 60 percent of SPICE is already manufactured in the U.S. in eight states. The “Spice” munition is more advanced than most EO-guided bombs (GBU-15, for example), since it combines the advantages of satellite guidance (such as the ability to engage camouflaged and hidden targets; to provide a “drop-and-forget” option for several such targets simultaneously; and to operate in all weather and lighting conditions) and those of electro-optical guidance into one bomb – reducing the amount of munitions (and hence, payload) that an aircraft has to carry for a given strike mission, increasing its combat radius and maneuverability.

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SOM-J Cruise Missile

SOM-J is an air-to-surface missile to be used against heavily defended, high-value anti-surface warfare and land targets. Lockheed Martin is teamed with Roketsan and is delivering experience and expertise to the SOM-J development team for F-35 internal carriage integration. SOM Cruise Missile (Turkish: Satha Atılan Orta Menzilli Mühimmat) is a next-generation high precision cruise missile, which can be launched from land, sea and air platforms developed by TÜBİTAK SAGE, Defence Research and Development Institute of Turkey. Although being developed by TÜBİTAK SAGE which still holds authority over the design of the missile, Roketsan has been given the role of producing and marketing the missile for export.

SOM-J Cruise Missile

SOM-J Cruise Missile


On 24 October 2014 Roketsan of Turkey and Lockheed Martin entered into a teaming agreement whereby the parties would modify, produce and market jointly a new variant of the SOM missile dubbed SOM-J for use in the internal carriages of the F-35. Certification efforts are in progress to enable the SOM missile for integration with both Turkish Air Force F-35 Lightning II and NATO allied F-35. Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control executive vice-president Rick Edwards has stated that the SOM missile developed by Roketsan is highly advanced and highly effective against command-and-control facilities, surface-to-air missile sites, parked aircraft and surface ships.
SOM-J Cruise Missile

SOM-J Cruise Missile


Due to its advanced design and performance, the SOM cruise missile is one of two cruise missiles to be integrated with the F-35, the other being the Joint Strike Missile developed by Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace of Norway. On the 10th of May 2013, Lockheed Martin had officially announced at the F-35 Industry Recognition Event during the IDEF tradeshow that the SOM missile will be certified and deployed on the F-35. The SOM Missile is the first non-U.S. made weapon to use the Universal Armaments Interface (UAI). Accordingly, the SOM missile can be integrated onto any platform which uses UAI.

Shershen Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM)

Shershen Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM)

The Shershen (Hornet) is a Belarusian third generation anti-tank guided missile (ATGM), based on Ukrainian ATGM Skif but reportedly with additional capabilities. Designed to defeat modern armored vehicles, protected objects (such as bunkers, pillboxes, earth-and-timber emplacements) and low-speed low-altitude targets (helicopters, UAVs). Shershen is designed to destroy armored vehicles equipped with explosive reactive armor (ERA) and can attack stationary and moving targets. Shershen also has automated fire and forget targeting mode that doesn’t require manual tracking of a target.

Shershen Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM)

Shershen Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM)


The “Shershen” base version consists of a tripod, a universal combat module, an anti-tank guided missile, a guidance device (PN-S) and a remote control, which allows the control of the unit from up to 100 m (with a wire channel) and up to 300 m (with radio). The two-man crew’s combat task is to assemble “Shershen”, find the target and launch. The pre-launch procedures, which include missile installation, PN-S connection and unit switch-on, take less than 2 minutes to complete. Once the missile is fired, the operator controls the “Shershen” and corrects the aim, if necessary, using the joystick on the remote control.
Shershen Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM)

Shershen Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM)


All modern armored targets can be destroyed, irrespective of where the missile hits them, using the РК-2 (cal. 130 mm) and Б-2М (cal. 152 mm) guided missiles. The Р-2В missile (can be used with “Shershen-Q” and unificated with ATGM “Barier-B” ) extends the maximum range to 7,500m. The ability to use different types of missiles without any system modification, in addition to a wide spectrum of targets makes it possible to consider this system not only as an ATGM, but as a mobile defence-assault fire system for infantry support up to battalion level.

Luftwaffe Eurofighter Typhoon fire live AMRAAM

Luftwaffe Eurofighter Typhoon fire live AMRAAM

In aerial combat, victory depends on the launch! The pilots of the German Air Force (Luftwaffe) Eurofighter Typhoon fire live missiles, specifically AMRAAM: an active-radar missile for combat beyond visual range of the target. The jets take off from Scottish air base Lossiemouth, firing their missiles at drones over the Atlantic. Alongside their buddies from the Bundeswehr Technical and Airworthiness Center for Aircraft, the German Air Force pilots test the missile’s target accuracy.

Luftwaffe Eurofighter Typhoon fire live AMRAAM

Luftwaffe Eurofighter Typhoon fire live AMRAAM


On 4 August 2003, the German Air Force accepted their initial first series production Eurofighter (30+03) starting the replacement process of the Mikoyan MiG-29s inherited from the East German Air Force in 1990. The first Luftwaffe Wing to accept the Eurofighter was Jagdgeschwader 73 “Steinhoff” on 30 April 2004 at Rostock–Laage Airport. The second Wing was Jagdgeschwader 74 (JG74) on 25 July 2006, with four Eurofighters arriving at Neuburg Air Base, beginning the replacement of JG74’s McDonnell Douglas F-4F Phantom IIs. The Luftwaffe assigned their Eurofighter Typhoons to QRA on 3 June 2008, taking over from the F-4F Phantom II.
Luftwaffe Eurofighter Typhoon fire live AMRAAM

Luftwaffe Eurofighter Typhoon fire live AMRAAM


The Eurofighter Typhoon is a twin-engine, canard–delta wing, multirole fighter.[6][7] The Typhoon was designed originally as an air superiority fighter and is manufactured by a consortium of Airbus, BAE Systems and Leonardo that conducts the majority of the project through a joint holding company, Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH formed in 1986. NATO Eurofighter and Tornado Management Agency manages the project and is the prime customer. The aircraft’s development effectively began in 1983 with the Future European Fighter Aircraft programme, a multinational collaboration among the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain.

Lockheed Martin Awarded $362 Million Contract For M270A2 MLRS recapitalization

Lockheed Martin Awarded $362 Million Contract For M270A2 MLRS recapitalization

The U.S. Army awarded Lockheed Martin a $362 million contract to recapitalize 50 of the U.S. Army’s Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) launchers. The M270A2 Launcher version will be an upgraded version of the M270 with improvements such as the installation of new Launcher Loader Modules (LLM), the installing of the Improved Armored Cab (IAC) and the installing of a Common Fire Control System (CFCS). The M270A2 Launcher quantities are not to exceed 385 units, according to the contract. The U.S. Army’s MLRS recapitalization effort will eventually upgrade its existing fleet of 225 MLRS M270A1 launchers, and 160 decommissioned M270A0’s slated for de-militarization, to M270A2s.

In partnership with the Red River Army Depot, these launchers will be completely refurbished as “zero time” launchers with new engines, transmissions, Launcher-Loader Modules, Improved Armored Cabs and the new Common Fire Control System. This contract will extend the operational life of the MLRS Launcher to 2025 by addressing obsolescence issues, upgrading and installing the Launcher Loader Module (LLM), and installing the Improved Armored Cab (IAC) and a Common Fire Control System (CFCS).

MLRS is a heavy tracked mobile launcher, transportable via C-17 and C-5 aircraft, that fires Guided MLRS rockets and Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) missiles. MLRS will also be able to fire the Precision Strike Missile (PrSM) and Extended-Range GMLRS rockets, both currently in development.For more than 40 years, Lockheed Martin has been the leading designer and manufacturer of long-range, surface-to-surface precision strike solutions, providing highly reliable, combat-proven systems like MLRS, High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), ATACMS and GMLRS to domestic and international customers.

SAAB Ground-Launched Small Diameter Bomb (GLSDB)

SAAB Ground-Launched Small Diameter Bomb (GLSDB)

The Ground-Launched Small Diameter Bomb (GLSDB) is a long range precision incendiary solution that widens the capabilities of armed forces. Highly effective and accurate over long ranges, the GLSDB is designed to meet the evolving needs of today´s and tomorrow´s armed forces. Capable of conducting reverse slope engagements and defeating a range of targets, from hardened facilities to soft-skinned assets, the GLSDB adds another dimension to armed forces´ capabilities. Developed in partnership with Boeing, the GLSDB is a flexible, precise and reliable weapon that exemplifies the value of Saab´s thinking edge.

SAAB Ground-Launched Small Diameter Bomb (GLSDB)

SAAB Ground-Launched Small Diameter Bomb (GLSDB)

SAAB Ground-Launched Small Diameter Bomb (GLSDB)

SAAB Ground-Launched Small Diameter Bomb (GLSDB)


With 360 degrees target engagement ability, the GLSDB provides commanders and planners with a flexible weapon which complements existing ballistic trajectory weapons. The weapon builds upon the successful Small Diameter Bomb Increment (SDB I) and the Multiple Launch Rocket System rockets.
The SDB is a 250-pound class weapon with an Advance Anti-Jam Global Positioning System-aided Intertial Navigation System, combined with a multipurpose penetrating blast-and-fragmentation warhead and a programmable electronic fuze. The GLSDB provides:

  • Increased range
  • Accuracy to within one metre
  • All angle, all aspect attack – even targets behind the launch point
  • Multiple rockets to act against multiple targets, with near simultaneous impact
  • All weather, 24/7 capability
  • Terrain avoidance, such as mountains
  • Cave breaching capability
  • Launches from hidden or protected positions to avoid detection
  • Programmable fuze for impact and delay fuzing for deep penetration or proximity height-of-burst
  • SDB Focused Lethality Munition (FLM) variant is also an option for low collateral damage
  • Laser SDB variant provides moving target capability
Yuma Proving Ground

Yuma Proving Ground

Yuma Proving Ground (YPG) is a United States Army proving ground and one of the largest military installations in the world. It is a subordinate command of the Army Test and Evaluation Command. Featuring six airfields, nearly 2,000 miles of restricted airspace, 240 miles of road courses, and one of the longest overland artillery ranges in the nation, Yuma Test Center is the Army’s center for testing nearly every item in the ground combat arsenal. Weapon systems tested include artillery and mortars, armored vehicles, helicopters and unmanned aircraft, cargo and personnel air drop systems, countermeasures to the threat of roadside bombs, and much more. Located in southwestern La Paz County and western Yuma County in southwestern Arizona, U.S., about 30 miles (48 km) north-east of the city of Yuma, it encompasses 1,307.8 square miles (3,387.2 km²) in the northwestern Sonoran Desert.

 Yuma Test Center's Ground Combat Systems test-fires a M109A6 Paladin

Yuma Test Center’s Ground Combat Systems test-fires a M109A6 Paladin


The proving ground conducts tests on nearly every weapon in the ground combat arsenal. Nearly all the long-range artillery testing for U.S. ground forces takes place here in an area almost completely removed from urban encroachment and noise concerns. Restricted airspace controlled by the test center amounts to over 2,000 square miles (5,000 km2). Yuma Proving Ground has the longest overland artillery range (40 miles or 64 kilometres) in the nation, the most highly instrumented helicopter armament test range in the Department of Defense, over 200 miles (300 km) of improved road courses for testing tracked and wheeled military vehicles, over 600 miles (1,000 km) of fiber-optic cable linking test locations, and the most modern mine and demolitions test facility in the western hemisphere. Realistic villages and road networks representing urban areas in Southwest Asia have been constructed and are used for testing counter-measures to the threat of roadside bombs.
 Royal Danish Army Piranha V Infantry Fighting Vehicle conducts testing at Yuma Proving Ground

Royal Danish Army Piranha V Infantry Fighting Vehicle conducts testing at Yuma Proving Ground


The General Motors Desert Proving Ground – Yuma opened at the proving ground in late July 2009. General Motors built the facility at a cost of more than $100 million after closing its desert automotive test facility in Mesa, Arizona, that had been in operation since 1953. The new facility allows Army automotive testers to test their wheeled vehicles all year-round. It is estimated that the track can be used to test about 80 percent of the Army’s wheeled vehicle fleet. More than 3,000 people, mostly civilians, work at the proving ground, which is the largest employer in Yuma County. In a typical year, over 500,000 artillery, mortar and missile rounds are fired, 36,000 parachute drops take place, 200,000 miles (320,000 km) are driven on military vehicles, and over 4,000 air sorties are flown from the proving ground’s Laguna Army Airfield. About 10 percent of the proving ground’s workload is training. In a typical year, dozens of units come to the facility for realistic desert training, especially before deploying overseas.
Marines prepare to breach a building during a mock helicopter raid at Yuma Proving Ground

Marines prepare to breach a building during a mock helicopter raid at Yuma Proving Ground


Yuma Proving Ground’s clean air, low humidity, skimpy rainfall—only about 3 inches (76 mm) per year—and annual average of 350 sunny days, add up to almost perfect testing and training conditions. Urban encroachment and noise concerns are nonexistent problems, unlike at many other military installations. Of the four extreme natural environments recognized as critical in the testing of military equipment, three fall under the management authority of Yuma Proving Ground. Realistic natural environment testing ensures that American military equipment performs as advertised, wherever deployed around the world. The proving ground manages military equipment and munitions testing at three locations: The Cold Regions Test Center at Fort Greely, Alaska; the Tropic Regions Test Center operating in Panama, Honduras, Suriname, and Hawaii; and at the Yuma Test Center located at Yuma Proving Ground. The common link between these test centers is “environmental testing,” which makes the proving ground the Army’s environmental test expert.
U.S. Army testing of the Joint Air-to-Ground Missile (JAGM) via an AH-64 Apache Longbow at Cibola Range, Yuma Proving Ground

U.S. Army testing of the Joint Air-to-Ground Missile (JAGM) via an AH-64 Apache Longbow at Cibola Range, Yuma Proving Ground


Since its early days, Yuma Proving Ground has been a desert environmental test center for all types of military equipment and materiel. However, developmental and a variety of other types of testing of artillery systems and ammunition, aircraft armament and targeting systems, mobility equipment, and air delivery systems, not necessarily desert environmental-related, now comprise the bulk of the workload. Yuma Proving Ground tests improvised explosive devices, commonly known as IEDs, the number-one killer of American service men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan. Hundreds of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles fly at the proving ground each year from the six airfields located at the proving ground, as do helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft conducting personnel and cargo parachute drops. A heavy investment in technology and a highly skilled soldier-civilian workforce makes the proving ground a significant social and economic component of the local community. Many friendly foreign nations take advantage of the test center’s excellent facilities and highly skilled workforce.