Paveway IV Tactical Penetrator Contract

The MoD has awarded a 3 and a half year £27 million contract to Rayhtheon for the;

Development, Qualification and Manufacture of a Tactical Penetrator Warhead.

This is the Paveway IV guided bomb in service since 2008, one of the RAF’s principle attack weapons, with Brimstone and Storm Shadow

This is an interesting development, a penetrating warhead has been one of those slow burn projects that has seemingly been around for ages as part of the Selected Precision Effects at Range (SPEAR) Capability 1 programme. Raytheon have worked with QinetiQ and Thales to develop and test initial versions of the penetrating warhead to reduce risk so this looks like moving the project to the next stage. Reports from last year indicated a discarding shroud would feature as part of the design, a design intended to penetrate hard and deep targets like bunkers and underground tunnels.

Good news.

Harrier GR9 with Paveway IV
Harrier GR9 with Paveway IV

 

 

READ MORE ABOUT UK COMPLEX WEAPONS

UK Complex (Guided) Weapons – Reference

 

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ForcesReviewUK
ForcesReviewUK
July 12, 2015 9:57 am

Do you have the direct news release?

TrT
TrT
July 12, 2015 10:14 am

It seems like a nice to have, but, given we are in a time of constrained budgets, is developing what is, in effect, a small unpowered storm shadow a good deal?

Just how many targets are there that *require* a 500lb penetrating bomb?
Those that cant be destroyed with a 2000lb surface burst, assume due to collateral damage concerns(?) and arent “worth” destroying with the million pound storm shadow,

If its “just” £27mn that might be ok, but if its £27mn, and then £270mn, and then the bombs themselves….

Fluffy Thoughts
Fluffy Thoughts
July 12, 2015 10:24 am
This is the Paveway IV guided bomb in service since 2008, one of the RAF’s principle ground to air weapons, with Brimstone.

OMFG: SeaViper must be envious…. :rollseyes:

The Other Chris
July 12, 2015 11:43 am

We’re phasing out our 1,000 and 2,000lb bombs so this is needed as a cheaper bunker buster than Storm Shadow.

One of the primary purposes of SPEAR is to defeat a target with lower collateral.

Reducing explosive mass but applying smarter applications of the force achieves this and has the nice benefit of supplying a 2,000lb effect in a 500lb package, allowing more platforms to deliver the effect and some platforms to deliver more of the effect.

Glide kit next please, TD. :D

Observer
Observer
July 12, 2015 6:01 pm

Come to think of it, mass destruction might be a good niche to specialize in. The trend nowadays is “limited collateral damage”, but when things go to hell, you’d want as much “collateral damage” as possible, so while people might niche down to “less than utterly lethal” solutions, an ally with the ability to “sweep the chessboard” without the need to resort to nukes might be valuable in certain circumstances.

TrT
TrT
July 12, 2015 6:22 pm
Reply to  Observer

From what I read the IDF had a lot of trouble in one of its little wars, it could put a small bomb through a window and destroy a room, but if the crews were in the room next door, and the missiles the room after that, it was to little lasting effect.

ISIS dont appear to be trying to “minimise collateral damage” or “win hearts and minds”, they also appear to be winning. Food for thought.

Smaller Bombs for More Bombs is of course a completely different issue, I’m all for bracketing a target with 4x500lbers over a single 2000lber unless its armoured.

Observer
Observer
July 12, 2015 8:08 pm
Reply to  TrT

If you thought about it sideways a bit, ISIS *are* winning hearts and minds, they are “winning” by instilling fear and terror into people’s hearts and hence their obedience. It’s also winning hearts and minds, but more towards the negative emotions rather than the positive ones.

Chris Werb
Chris Werb
July 12, 2015 9:10 pm

Whilst it’s good to have the limited hard target capability this weapon will provide, the laws of physics dictate that it’s highly unlikely it can replace the comparatively recently acquired GBU-24 with BLU-109 penetrator warhead, let alone the BLU-116.

martin
martin
July 13, 2015 8:09 am

@ TRT

“Just how many targets are there that *require* a 500lb penetrating bomb?
Those that cant be destroyed with a 2000lb surface burst, assume due to collateral damage concerns(?) and arent “worth” destroying with the million pound storm shadow,”

the main reason for developing this weapon is so our F35B can carry them internally. For that fact it will be vital.