Contracts pave the way

Raytheon has been awarded the majority share of US Air Force competitive contracts for Paveway II Laser Guided Bomb (LGB) components for 2006.

The $33.8 million in contracts calls for Raytheon to provide the Air Force with LBG computer control groups and air foil groups that transform “dumb” bombs into precision guided munitions.

Work will be done primarily at Raytheon facilities in Tucson, Arizona, and Dallas, Texas.

The Paveway LGB system features an onboard guidance system, the computer control group that detects and guides the unit to a target illuminated by an external laser source. Since being developed in 1968, the evolving Paveway series of LGBs is said to have revolutionised precision delivery against tactical target sets including bunkers, buildings, bridges, runways, aircraft shelters and missile launchers.

“The Paveway semi-active, laser-guided munitions greatly reduce the number of weapons needed to destroy a target and also feature accuracy, reliability and cost-effectiveness previously unobtainable in conventional weapons,” said Capt. Scott Fitzner, Paveway II program manager at Hill Air Force Base, Utah.

“Laser-guided bombs have been the weapon of choice in every conflict since Operation Desert Storm. More than 8,700 LGBs were used in Operation Iraqi Freedom, making up about half of all the air-launched, precision-guided munitions used,” added Capt. Fitzner.