Textron Test-Fires New Precision Glide Bombs

fury-in-flightTextron Systems recently test-fired a new lightweight, precision-guided glide bomb from a Shadow drone at Yuma Proving Grounds, Arizona, in order to showcase the weapon’s technology to interested Army and Marine Corps officials.

In development by Textron Systems since March of last year, the Fury is a small 27-inch, 13-pound GPS and laser-guided bomb engineered to fly and fire from medium and large drones, said Christian Leimkuehler, vice president of Textron Precision Weapon Systems.

“It is designed to be effective against moving targets with GPS, INS (inertial navigation systems) and semi-active laser-based seeking capability. We built the weapon to be affordable for a light platform,” Leimkuehler added.

The weapon has been successfully fired against targets from a Shadow 200 and a Shadow M2 during testing over the last year. With the Fury, the intent was to design a weapon that would provide a strike technology while still enabling the Shadow UAS’ intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, or ISR, mission, he added.

“We developed a system that had less than eight-percent impact to the endurance of the platform and it was very effective in allowing the operator to maintain the current conops (concept of operations) while maintaining the weapon. We wanted something that provides minimal impact,” Leimkuehler explained.

Unlike the 100-pound Hellfire missiles fired from medium and large-scale drones such as Predators and Reapers, the smaller Fury is engineered to provide smaller and medium-sized drones with a precision-guided light attack option.

The Fury is also configured with a tri-mode fuse which can be set to detonate on impact, after a delay or above a specified target through what’s called “height of burst” mode, he said.

There were two successful test-drops of the Fury against static targets from a Shadow 200 UAS at Yuma Proving Grounds, Ariz., in August of this year.

At the same time, the weapons semi-active laser guidance is designed to give it the ability to destroy targets on-the-move. Semi-active laser technology works when the weapon can follow or hone in on a laser spot coming from a laser designator.

“We can employ this weapon against moving targets with a designation either from the platform or from a gun location. The weapon is capable of engaging moving targets. It has a fragmentation warhead as well as a warhead that is able to engage lightly armored vehicles,” he added.

Army and Marine Corps representatives were on hand at Yuma for the recent test fires. Both the Army and Corps use Shadow drones for reconnaissance. The Fury would give the platform an ability to fire weapons as well.

Other vendors, such as Raytheon, Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics, have tested and developed various precision-guided munitions from Shadow UAS as well, so the Fury joins a field of potential method the Army and Corps could use for the drone.

Although the Fury has primarily been tested on a Shadow UAS, Textron Systems and potential customers are talking about a multiple-load arming possibility for larger UAS platforms.

“Three Fury on a Hellfire rail allows current Reaper and Predator operators to have Hellfire on their rail as well as Fury,” Leimkuehler added.

About the Author

Kris Osborn
Kris Osborn is the managing editor of Scout Warrior.
  • ken

    Will it hit a terrorist?

  • Luke

    sounds like any standard GPS and laser guided bomb

  • anthony

    It will destroy the target it needs to!!

  • JamcaicanMeAfraid

    “Three Fury on a Hellfire” Great title for something, movie, song, book…

  • d. kellogg

    This is the shape of things to come: flyweight PGMs deployable from even the smaller UAVs.
    Raytheon has its own products along this size like the Pyros STM, http://www.raytheon.com/capabilities/products/pyr…

    The fact that GPS level precision can be aided further by these newest generation micro-optics developed out of cellphone camera technologies will give us even smaller precision munitions to the point of explosive assassination capabilities detonating inside a targeted person and harming no one else nearby.

  • Mitch S.

    “engineered to fly and fire from medium and large drones”

    You “fire” a bomb?

  • Stan

    What would be nice is a loitering round which could be fired from a mortar or something even less involved for a bit of squad level situational awareness and do-it-yourself close air support.

  • FWGuy

    Don’t forget this is a glide bomb and not a high speed missile with greater range like the Hellfire is. Its use will be more limited but not an ineffective weapon and it does provide smaller drones with an attack capability.

    • blight_qwerty

      A glide bomb benefits greatly from deployment from a high altitude platform. RQ-7 max altitude ~15,000 feet…so depending on the glide ratio its range can be satisfactory. Given a three mile altitude over sea level with a glide-ratio of ten anything in thirty miles could be hit. However, the glide ratio is likely to be rather low without wing kits. A glide ratio of 2 would put everything in a six mile radius on notice. Time of flight would be given by kinematic equations, assuming acceleration of 1G, starting velocity imparted by the aircraft.

      The other caveat to long glide ratios is very long time of flight the farther the range. Sometimes timely support is more important than long range support.

  • test

    lookie here