SP's LandForces - - NEWS IN BRIEF -

Raytheon Mis­sile Sys­tems has started full­rate pro­duc­tion of the Talon laser-guided rock­ets (LGR) for the UAE armed forces. The pro­duc­tion is be­ing car­ried out as part of a $117 mil­lion con­tract awarded by Tawazun. Un­der the con­tract, the company will main­tain full in­te­gra­tion of the Talon sys­tem into the UAE mil­i­tary, in­clud­ing lo­gis­tics, train­ing and war­ranty support. Raytheon Talon Pro­gram Di­rec­tor Dar­ryl Kre­it­man said: “Full-rate pro­duc­tion of the Talon LGR is a sig­nif­i­cant mile­stone for Raytheon and the pro­gramme. UAE de­fence man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­try par­tic­i­pated in [the] de­vel­op­ment of this rev­o­lu­tion­ary sys­tem and the en­duser can now ben­e­fit from this laser-guided pre­ci­sion ca­pa­bil­ity.”

The company is also ex­plor­ing op­tions to in­te­grate Talon onto NIMR 4x4 light tac­ti­cal ar­moured ve­hi­cles, which are cur­rently op­er­ated by dif­fer­ent units of the UAE armed forces. Tawazun re­ceived a con­tract from the Armed Forces Gen­eral Head­quar­ters of the UAE in 2013 to ac­quire the Talon rock­ets for the mil­i­tary. A joint de­vel­op­ment ef­fort be­tween Raytheon and Emi­rates Ad­vanced In­vest­ments (EAI), Talon LGR is a low-cost, dig­i­tal, semi-ac­tive laser guid­ance and con­trol kit de­signed to con­vert ‘dumb’ 2.75in/70mm he­li­copter-borne rock­ets into guided weapons. The weapon can launch from any air­craft that fires 2.75in un­guided rock­ets, us­ing the stan­dard M260/261 launch­ers, and does not re­quire hard­ware or soft­ware mod­i­fi­ca­tions to the launcher or air­craft plat­form.

Talon is fully com­pat­i­ble with ex­ist­ing air­borne and ground laser des­ig­na­tors, and bridges the crit­i­cal op­er­a­tional ca­pa­bil­ity gap be­tween un­guided rock­ets and guided, heavy anti-tank mis­siles. In ad­di­tion, the weapon’s ar­chi­tec­ture and ease of em­ploy­ment in­creases its suit­abil­ity for mis­sions in ur­ban en­vi­ron­ments, as well as counter in­sur­gency and swarm­ing boat de­fence mis­sions. The rocket achieved an air wor­thi­ness cer­ti­fi­ca­tion on the AH-64D/E Apache at­tack he­li­copter ear­lier this year.

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