Over two decades have passed since the laser-guided version of Raytheon’s AGM-65 missile left production but, due to emerging requirements, the “laser Maverick” is back.
XM501 Non-Line-of-Sight Launch System
With the program having been declassified last November, the Rafael’s Spike NLOS weapon is being seen here for the first time at a trade show. The latest member of the successful missile family to emerge has an effective range of 25 km, more than three times that of the Spike-ER. The NLOS weapon is easily distinguishable from other Spike variants by having much longer folding wings.
One of the more unusual debutants at this year’s airshow is Israel Aerospace Industries’ HAROP loitering munition. A cross between an unmanned aerial vehicle and a bomb, HAROP is an expendable air vehicle that is launched from the box in which it is transported. The weapon can loiter over the battlefield for up to six hours, using its nose-mounted EO/IR sensor turret to spot targets or relay video imagery back to the control station.
Last month, bidders submitted proposals for the U.S. joint air-to-ground missile (JAGM) and they now await a contract award for a 27-month risk-reduction phase. That announcement is expected in August or September, with two teams being selected to demonstrate their technologies, including live-firing.