GPAW Next Mass-Produced, Fifth-Gen Ground Attack Munition

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spazsinbad

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Unread post21 Oct 2020, 21:21

GPAW Will be Next Mass-Produced, Fifth-Gen Ground Attack Munition
20 Oct 2020 John A. Tirpak

"The Air Force is launching a program to acquire a new, highly flexible ground-attack munition to equip its combat aircraft. The service wants a Global Precision Attack Weapon, or GPAW, that would meet an ambitious set of characteristics: small, lightweight, and affordable in numbers, yet capable against hard and deeply buried targets, and with advanced sensors and autonomy. The GPAW plan, unveiled in a Broad Agency Announcement on Oct. 19, calls for a weapon that would be carried internally on the fifth-generation F-35 fighter and B-21 bomber, but would still be compatible with legacy aircraft.

The weapon is to have “high loadout”—meaning many can be carried on a single platform, suggesting a small size—and digitally engineered, with open-systems architecture. It should enable “maximum flexibility to integrate a suite of technologies,” including position, navigation, and timing and guidance, navigation, control; as well as “cockpit-selectable warhead effect,” fuzing, sensors, propulsion, “signature optimization” or stealthiness, “martime [?maritime?] apps, multimode seeker, affordable mass, and autonomy/sensing.”

GPAW will have to operate “within the joint, all-domain functional environment against near-peer competitors.” It was suggested the weapon should be able to collaborate autonomously. The announcement modified a previous announcement published by the Air Force and Special Operations Command in the spring....

...The GPAW development program will be in three phases, and the Air Force will select and work with a System Design Agent to get the project started...."

Source: https://www.airforcemag.com/gpaw-will-b ... -munition/
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usafr

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Unread post21 Oct 2020, 22:04

Sounds like they want to reinvent Stormbreaker now that it finally becoming operational. :bang:
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Unread post22 Oct 2020, 06:56

Spear-3 family?
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marauder2048

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Unread post22 Oct 2020, 18:49

usafr wrote:Sounds like they want to reinvent Stormbreaker now that it finally becoming operational. :bang:

old_rn wrote:Spear-3 family?


capable against hard and deeply buried targets
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eloise

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Unread post23 Oct 2020, 06:01

marauder2048 wrote:
capable against hard and deeply buried targets

Sound like SDB 1
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Unread post23 Oct 2020, 18:26

eloise wrote:
marauder2048 wrote:
capable against hard and deeply buried targets

Sound like SDB 1


Yeah. I could see them taking the existing penetrator and wrapping it in
solid rocket motor: you could boost in the last minute of flight to get
impact velocity into the 3000 fps range or boost early to increase range/reduced
time of flight.
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Unread post23 Oct 2020, 18:45

So either range or penetration, but not both?
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Unread post23 Oct 2020, 20:06

madrat wrote:So either range or penetration, but not both?


Maybe. You could loft the penetrator to high altitude and then do an unpowered dive.
It would still be supersonic impact.

The semi-recent tactic with penetrators is to "double-tap" them against a target i.e. you launch
two in quick succession along the same flight path such that the second penetrator enters
the hole created by the first penetrator. This tactic is well suited for a high loadout weapon.

There could be more exotic arrangements like a turbojet for cruise
and a SRM for terminal boost. This was looked at for various US cruise missiles.

You could also do a two-stage penetrator (big Shaped Charge + Follow-through) with a
powered dive a la JSOW-ER. '
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Unread post24 Oct 2020, 03:59

Could we convert rocket motors off existing AAMs or ASMs to get there, or do we need all new inventory?

Wouldn't it be nice if you could turn, say, old AMRAAM stock into such a weapon? Or maybe even convert old SAMs if they need a larger variant.
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Unread post24 Oct 2020, 04:15

Old AAMs/SAMs have a shelf life what that may be for different munitions I've no idea. Perhaps refurbishment may help?

https://onceuponascreen.files.wordpress ... e-sam.jpeg SAM Yosemite
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marauder2048

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Unread post24 Oct 2020, 04:51

madrat wrote:Could we convert rocket motors off existing AAMs or ASMs to get there, or do we need all new inventory?

Wouldn't it be nice if you could turn, say, old AMRAAM stock into such a weapon? Or maybe even convert old SAMs if they need a larger variant.



Unless they go for a AGM-130 tandem arrangement where the booster is separable,
they'd probably opt for a wrap around booster which helps minimize weapon length.

https://patents.google.com/patent/US6276277B1
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steve2267

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Unread post26 Oct 2020, 18:35

Could this be the re-incarnation or followon to the HVPW (Another Weapon for the F-35? - HVPW)?
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Unread post26 Oct 2020, 18:52

steve2267 wrote:Could this be the re-incarnation or followon to the HVPW (Another Weapon for the F-35? - HVPW)?


Yes but I think in an SDB I-like form factor.

IOW, trying to get a say, a 500-lb penetrator to achieve what normally requires a 1000-lb penetrator.
And then, by virtue of SDB I-like loadout, you can double tap HDBTs.

Vs. HVPW which was trying to realize a 5000-lb penetrator in a 2000 lb penetrator form factor.

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