MBDA Incorporated’s GBU-44/E Viper Strike munition scored multiple direct hits from a U.S. Marine Corps KC-130J Harvest HAWK aircraft during developmental testing at Naval Air Warfare Center’s China Lake, California Weapons Station. Viper Strike is a glide munition capable of precision attack from extended stand-off ranges using GPS-aided navigation and a semi-active laser seeker. Its small size, precision and high agility provides a very low collateral damage weapon that is effective against stationary and moving targets.
Using the new pressurized “derringer door” launcher on Harvest HAWK, Viper Strike successfully launched and scored multiple direct hits on tactical targets.
The new derringer door launcher uses a side door in the fuselage and enables the aircraft to launch and reload Stand Off Precision Guided Munitions while the aircraft remains pressurized. This allows the aircraft to extend standoff ranges while reducing the time to acquire and attack a target, increasing the likelihood of a successful engagement with the Viper Strike.
Viper Strike also proved its new fast attack software load that greatly enhances the weapon’s effectiveness against time sensitive targets. Combined with its top-attack mode of operation, the weapon can safely attack targets that are either ground or air-designated.
Viper Strike is in production at MBDA Incorporated’s Huntsville, Alabama facility. “Viper Strike provides the right characteristics needed to support our warfighters in both current and future fights ─ high precision and agility to hit moving and stationary targets in complex terrain and with very low collateral damage,” said Jerry Agee, President and CEO of MBDA Incorporated.
Date: Apr 17, 2012