Today’s “things that go boom” entry: Raytheon announced today that the company has begun testing a new model of the Maverick standoff attack missile for the Air Force designed for greater precision against targets in urban environments and on the move.
The new version, the AGM-65E2, is a semi-active laser guided weapon that locks onto a target “painted” by a laser directed from the launching aircraft. Based on the AGM-65E originally developed for the Marine Corps, which can follow a laser spot from the aircraft or a forward observer or other aircraft, the 65E2 will be less apt to be confused by movement of targets, and by clutter in a built-up area, making it less likely that it will hit the wrong target or cause “collateral damage”.
“The newest variant of the laser-guided Maverick is perfectly suited for urban combat and high-speed maneuvering targets,” said Harry Schulte, vice president of Air Warfare Systems. “Because of its accuracy and standoff range, the U.S. warfighter and our international partners can use this weapon against a variety of targets.”
Raytheon’s release at: Raytheon Starts Developmental Testing of Upgraded Laser-Guided Maverick Missile – Sep 14, 2009.