Westlake Village, California. MBDA Incorporated today announced the successful demonstration of a Semi-Active Laser Guided Zuni rocket at the Navy’s test facilities at China Lake, CA. utilizing the WGU-58/B Guidance and Control System developed in cooperation with the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division (NAWCWD).
Jim Pennock, Vice President of Guided Rocket Sector Business Development at MBDA Incorporated said “The WGU-58/B Guidance and Control system performed as predicted. We developed this capability in response to a U.S. Marine Corps need for a forward-firing, low-cost, semi-active laser guided weapon capable of accurately engaging fixed and moving targets in close proximity to friendly forces, while allowing firing aircraft to remain outside the threat envelope. Our successful team includes the NAWCWD, China Lake and our industry partners; Elbit Systems of America, Fort Worth TX; General Dynamics, Healdsburg CA; and Honeywell, Minneapolis MN.”
The design concept maximizes the use of off-the-shelf hardware and software, and does not require changes to the aircraft interface to employ the weapon, thereby permitting the rapid transition of the hardware into the inventory. The design allows the WGU-58/B guidance and control system to be easily attached to the existing Zuni rockets in the field.
The Zuni is fired from the LAU-10 launcher, which is a pod that is carried on a fighter aircraft’s weapon station. The pod is designed to carry and fire four Zuni rockets which gives the aircraft an immediate increase in the number of targets that it can engage over most of the other semi-active laser guided weapons of a comparable warhead effectiveness which are limited to one or two per weapon station.
The high speed profile of the weapon will permit tactical aircraft using existing targeting pods to rapidly and accurately engage a target while staying outside the range of an enemy’s weapons. The WGU-58/B Guidance and Control system can provide an immediate precision guided weapon capability to any aircraft capable of carrying the LAU-10 pod.
NOTES TO EDITORS
With industrial facilities in the USA and four European countries, MBDA has an annual turnover of more than $4 billion and an order book of more than $14 billion. With more than 90 armed forces customers in the world, MBDA is a world leader in missiles and missile systems.
MBDA is the only group capable of designing and producing missiles and missile systems that correspond to the full range of current and future operational needs of the three armed forces (land, sea and air). In total, the group offers a range of 45 missile systems and countermeasures products already in operational service and more than 15 others currently in development.