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Hunter-Viper Strike Team Completes Successful Missile Range Tests

Viper Strike is a gliding munition capable of stand-off precision attack using GPS-aided navigation and a semi-active laser seeker. It is intended for operations that require a flexible angle of inclination (steep or shallow), particularly in mountainous terrain or built-up areas where strict rules of engagement are in force. Its small size and precision provide for low collateral damage in cluttered urban environments.

The weapon is suitable for operations that require top-down attack, particularly in built-up areas where strict rules of engagement are in force. It requires a "man in the loop" to lase the target, either from the ground in sight of the target or from directly by the UAV, controlled from the ground station, a process which ensures the greatest possible accuracy and minimizes the chances of collateral damage.

by Staff Writers
White Sands NM (SPX) Mar 01, 2007
Northrop Grumman's Hunter-Viper Strike weapon system successfully destroyed a series of moving and stationary targets in testing at the White Sands Missile Range in January. The Viper Strike weapons were guided to their targets by the Hunter unmanned aerial vehicle's (UAV) laser targeting system. The weapons tests were conducted under the auspices of the U.S. Army's Program Executive Office (PEO) for Aviation and the PEO for Missiles and Space.

Using its electro-optical or infrared sensors, Hunter is able to locate an enemy vehicle, report its location to the ground commander, receive permission to engage, fire the weapon, guide the weapon with its laser, and after weapon impact, perform battle damage assessment. Viper Strike is a highly-accurate precision munition that causes minimal collateral damage, making it ideal for urban warfare environments.

"The warfighter is the winner as a result of this accomplishment," said U.S. Army LTC(P) Jeff Gabbert, Hunter program manager.

"The Army has placed the Hunter system in the Combat Aviation Brigade to provide general support to the Division. The integration of Viper Strike with Hunter is a lethal combination that reduces the Army's sensor-to-shooter timeline. It also provides us a capability to strike targets that require long durations to present themselves, in a swift and silent manner anywhere within the battle space."

Viper Strike and Hunter are developed by Northrop Grumman.

"We are committed to providing our soldiers with the most advanced and reliable technology in fighting the global war on terrorism," said Jim Perry, Northrop Grumman's Hunter program manager.

"Northrop Grumman is honored to be part of this U.S. Army - industry team," said Randy Tylicki, Northrop Grumman's Viper Strike program manager. "Viper Strike provides a unique combination of precision and low collateral damage."

Hunter, the Army's workhorse, is a combat-proven UAV with more than 24,000 combat hours in the Balkans and Iraq. It provides warfighters with state-of-the-art reconnaissance, surveillance, target acquisition, communications relay and weapons delivery.

At less than a quarter of the size of the smallest guided bomb, Viper Strike's compact size (36 inches long) and light weight (44 pounds) make it ideal for use on payload-limited aircraft. After the bomb is released, it glides to the target's vicinity, and its seeker then looks for the laser spot from Hunter's laser target designator and makes final adjustments to its flight.

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Raytheon Demonstrates Engine For Powered Joint Standoff Weapon Extended Range
Tucson AZ (SPX) Feb 28, 2007
Raytheon has successfully demonstrated the engine of Joint Standoff Weapon Extended Range (JSOW ER), a new low-cost extended-range missile. The engine ground test of JSOW ER successfully evaluated a flush inlet design and overall engine performance and showed that engine performance matched simulation results. The inlet will maintain the missile's excellent low observable characteristics.

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