Orbital ATK Gears Up for Launch of 'Hatchet' Smart Munition

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spazsinbad

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Unread post26 Jan 2018, 00:35

Is a HATCHET coming to a BOMB BAY near you anytime SOON?
Orbital ATK Gears Up for Launch of 'Hatchet' Smart Munition
25 Jan 2018 Oriana Pawlyk

"A small, GPS- and laser-guided precision glide weapon could make its way onto the battlefield in a few years, should the Pentagon find a crucial need for the program. Orbital ATK has tested its Hatchet munition on different types of launchers and intends to air-launch it by the end of 2018, according to Jarrod Krull of Orbital ATK Armament Systems....

...Hatchet is enhanced by both GPS/inertial navigation and a semi-active laser seeker, which can be used simultaneously or separately. "This isn't only for drones, this can go on small aircraft, it can go on a helicopter, it can go on a fighter aircraft in larger quantities, and we've looked at a number of launcher capabilities," he said....

...Hatchet creates the ability to have a very precise weapon that requires no propulsion and is "mostly warhead."

Orbital says its compressed carriage supports a variety of "low-drag launcher designs." Its blast minimizes collateral debris often associated with other bomb drops and civilian casualties....

...Hatchet isn't one size fits all -- developers must augment each weapon to fit on particular launchers, Krull said.

The six-pound, 12-inch weapon may be small but, during testing, developers have been able to prove lethality equivalent, in some cases, to a 500-pound bomb. For larger targets, Orbital suggests using "a swarm of these weapons."

"Almost all of the body of the weapon is warhead," Krull said. "There's obviously a seeker in the front, and electronics inside of the weapon itself." To be clear, the smart munition doesn't have an artificial intelligence element to "think" on its own, and developers don't plan to add it. "This is for anything that flies, really," Krull said of the tail-winged bomb.

He noted Hatchet's use is for targets that require a particular, narrow strike. Joint Direct Attack Munitions or Hellfire missiles are still the better choice against hardened buildings or vast underground shelters....

...He would not name the type of aircraft that will drop the weapon later this year or early next year for its air-guide-to-hit test, but said Orbital has been working with each of the services for feedback. "This is something that could be needed right now, because Hatchet fits in[to]" the dynamic environment where more lethality and more precision is needed, Krull said."

Graphic: "Orbital ATK has tested its Hatchet munition on different types of launchers and intends to air-launch it by the end of 2018. (Photo: Orbital ATK)" https://images01.military.com/sites/def ... k-1200.jpg


Source: https://www.military.com/defensetech/20 ... ition.html
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ricnunes

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Unread post26 Jan 2018, 17:37

"Cluster Bomb of the future"?? (kind and role of weapon, I mean)
A 4th/4.5th gen fighter aircraft stands about as much chance against a F-35 as a guns-only Sabre has against a Viper.
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rheonomic

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Unread post31 Jan 2018, 03:33

ricnunes wrote:"Cluster Bomb of the future"?? (kind and role of weapon, I mean)


I'd say the "cluster bomb of the future" is already here: SFW.
"You could do that, but it would be wrong."
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Dragon029

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Unread post31 Jan 2018, 03:41

SFW ceased being produced mind you due to UXO rates in Yemen not meeting US export guidelines; the US was also meant to stop using cluster munitions that didn't meet that UXO rate this year, but the unacceptable rates being talked about came from Saudi usage of the weapon, so I don't know if the Pentagon will ignore that data.
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rheonomic

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Unread post31 Jan 2018, 04:18

Dragon029 wrote:SFW ceased being produced mind you due to UXO rates in Yemen not meeting US export guidelines; the US was also meant to stop using cluster munitions that didn't meet that UXO rate this year, but the unacceptable rates being talked about came from Saudi usage of the weapon, so I don't know if the Pentagon will ignore that data.


Huh, I missed that news. Hope we kept some around in case we have to deal with armored formations again.
"You could do that, but it would be wrong."

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