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Bothell, Wash. (UPI) Nov 1, 2012
General Dynamics and the U.S. Army have demonstrated the use of precision-guided mortar rounds from a small unmanned aerial vehicle.
In three test engagements 81mm mortar rounds -- equipped a Roll Control Fixed Canard control system from General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems -- were launched from a Tiger Shark UAV at an altitude of about 7,000 feet.
The rounds, which featured a fusing solution from the U.S. Army Armament Research and Development Engineering Center, were guided to within 23 feet of a GPS-identified target grid.
"This effort demonstrated a low-cost, tactical version of a GPS strike weapon for UAV platforms," said Mark Schneider, general manager of General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems' Seattle operations.
"Together with ARDEC, we have demonstrated a weapon in the 10-pound class for tactical UAVs that can be used to quickly engage and defeat targets.
"Advancements in GPS targeting and data-link technology provide a built-in growth path for this demonstrated technology."
Added Tony Sebasto, senior associate for Munitions at ARDEC, "The Air Drop Mortar program with General Dynamics provided a platform to successfully demonstrate and mature sub-systems including communication links, munition deployment, guidance and control and fusing."
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