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Maverick variant set for operational tests

Aug. 11, 2011 at 12:56 PM

TUCSON, Aug. 11 (UPI) -- The newest variant of Raytheon's Maverick missile is to enter operational testing following tests by the U.S. military.

During the tests, the U.S. Air Force conducted aircraft integration, laboratory and flight tests of the new laser-guided AGM-65 E2/L Maverick on A-10, F-16, AV-8B and F/A-18 aircraft.

The tests culminated in a series of live-fire shots against moving and static targets from A-10 and F-16 fighter aircraft.

The U.S. Navy is also testing the missile variant and is expected to complete its flight testing this summer.

"The joint testing community conducted a series of very demanding tests, including two where the missile contended with targets moving at 65 and 72 mph," said Harry Schulte, vice president of Raytheon Missile Systems' Air Warfare Systems product line.

"As we begin OT, the warfighter will have an opportunity to put the new laser-guided Maverick through its paces, clearing the way for entry into the inventory of the U.S. and its international partners."

Like its predecessors, the AGM-65 E2/L can precisely engage fast-moving and maneuvering targets in urban areas. New capabilities include the ability for a launch aircraft to use its onboard laser designators to guide the weapon to the target.

The AGM-65 E2/L has an enhanced laser seeker and new software that reduces the risk of collateral damage and enables aircraft to use onboard, buddy- and ground-based lasing to designate targets.

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