Hydra, Awakened: Guided Air-Ground Rockets

TALON & partial ARWS land test

TALON test-firing
(click to view full)

More TALON naval/ land testing; TALON RRWS detailed.


September 04/17: General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems has been awarded a $60 million US Army contract modification to an earlier 2014 award for additional Hydra-70 air-to-ground rocket systems. The rockets will be for US combat aircraft and for customers of the US Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. The unguided 2.75″/70mm Hydra-70 air-to-ground rocket comes in a wide variety of warhead configurations and is used by a variety of fixed-wing and rotary aircraft, including Apache and Cobra attack helicopters, F-16 Fighting Falcons and aircraft of other nations.

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Boom. (click to view full) Sen. Leahy’s [D-VT] worked in the mid-2000s to keep the Hydra 70mm rocket family alive through special appropriations, just in time for the Hydras’ potential on the battlefield to rise again. The key was the addition of low-cost precision guidance, which would expand the number of precision weapons carried by helicopters, aircraft, and even UAVs. Over the last few years, the US Army’s 2nd attempt at an APKWS 70mm guided rocket had a near-death experience, before righting the program with Navy funding. Meanwhile, private development efforts are introducing new competitors into the precision-guided rocket space: Lockheed Martin, Thales TDA, and a raft of international partnerships involving major defense firms and partners in Korea, the UAE, Canada/Norway, and Israel. This DID FOCUS article covers the most prominent competitors within the guided rocket trend. Their products will sit between full anti-armor missiles like Hellfire, TOW, and Brimstone, and an emerging class of ultra-small precision attack weapons like Northrop Grumman’s Viper Strike, Raytheon’s Griffin, etc. APKWS II: “To be, or not to be…” APKWS (click to view full) “APKWS II “Hellfire Jr.” Hydra Rockets Enter SDD Phase” is DID’s FOCUS article for the APKWS II program, noting updates […]

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