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Thu, Feb 10, 2005

Paveway Penetrator Tests Wrap Up

Arena Test Successful

Following the recent successful penetration trial of a Paveway IV Precision Guided Bomb (PGB), another test example has just been subjected to an arena test at the Energetic Materials Research and Test Center in Socorro, NM. The test, conducted by prime contractor Raytheon Systems Limited (RSL) to demonstrate compliance of the warhead design to the fragmentation requirements of the U.K.'s Ministry of Defence (MoD), was conducted successfully on January 11th.

The arena test was another element of the continuing PGB risk reduction program. Although the PGB warhead design is largely based on a standard 500lb bomb, a number of design enhancements have been introduced to improve survivability and to meet the Insensitive Munitions requirements. This has necessitated a test to confirm that no adverse effects on the fragmentation pattern had been introduced.

Speaking after the trial, Graham Viner, PGB Warhead IPT leader at RSL, said, "The data to be derived from this trial will be compared to standard fragmentation data that exists for a warhead of this type. All of the initial indications are that the test successfully demonstrated compliance to the customer's requirement."

The arena test provides 360 degree coverage of the warhead and is configured to capture the fragments deriving from the warhead case following detonation of the explosive filling and also to measure the velocity of the warhead fragments following detonation using cameras located behind steel plates. The fragments are captured in strawboard packs situated a known distance from the test hardware.

The enhanced warhead has been designed by Raytheon Missile Systems in Tucson, AZ, and manufactured by General Dynamics in Garland, TX.

FMI: www.raytheon.co.uk

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