November 14, 2011
As announced in a recent press release, Raytheon completed testing and development of a new wireless method of integrating its combat-proven Enhanced Paveway precision-guided bomb on aircraft. The new integration tool, called WiPak, uses wireless technology similar to what is being used in many consumer wireless devices such as tablet computers. WiPak consists of a small wireless transmitter and pilot interface in the aircraft cockpit, and a small receiver affixed to the Paveway weapon.
Raytheon has integrated WiPak on the Embraer Super Tucano counterinsurgency aircraft and is in the process of testing and deploying the system on similar aircraft.
Raytheon's Paveway family of laser guided bombs has revolutionized tactical air-to-ground warfare by converting "dumb" bombs into precision guided munitions. Paveway bombs have been put to the test in every major conflict and proved themselves, time and again, as the weapon of choice by the end-users. Paveways made up more than half the air-to-ground precision guided weapons used in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Newer versions of Paveway include GPS/INS guidance capabilities. This innovation combines the accuracy and flexibility of traditional laser-guided weapons with the all-weather capability of GPS guidance, resulting in a weapon that decreases the required sortie count and weapon inventory while simultaneously increasing the mission success rate.
"WiPak enables integration of Paveway on a variety of aircraft previously unable to carry the weapon, and WiPak does so without modifying aircraft wiring or changing flight and stores management software," said Harry Schulte, Raytheon Missile Systems' vice president of Air Warfare Systems. "With WiPak, aviators can easily and quickly employ Paveway for a small fraction of what it would cost to integrate Paveway through traditional means."
References: Raytheon (1,2)