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Guided mortar rounds fired from small UAV

  |   Nov. 1, 2012 at 3:18 PM
BOTHELL, Wash., Nov. 1 (UPI) -- General Dynamics and the U.S. Army have demonstrated the use of precision-guided mortar rounds from a small unmanned aerial vehicle.

In three test engagements 81mm mortar rounds -- equipped a Roll Control Fixed Canard control system from General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems -- were launched from a Tiger Shark UAV at an altitude of about 7,000 feet.

The rounds, which featured a fusing solution from the U.S. Army Armament Research and Development Engineering Center, were guided to within 23 feet of a GPS-identified target grid.

"This effort demonstrated a low-cost, tactical version of a GPS strike weapon for UAV platforms," said Mark Schneider, general manager of General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems' Seattle operations.

"Together with ARDEC, we have demonstrated a weapon in the 10-pound class for tactical UAVs that can be used to quickly engage and defeat targets.

"Advancements in GPS targeting and data-link technology provide a built-in growth path for this demonstrated technology."

Added Tony Sebasto, senior associate for Munitions at ARDEC, "The Air Drop Mortar program with General Dynamics provided a platform to successfully demonstrate and mature sub-systems including communication links, munition deployment, guidance and control and fusing."

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