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V-22 Osprey

Raytheon has successfully completed a test launch of the Griffin B missile from a V-22 Osprey multi-mission helicopter at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona, US.

Working in collaboration with Bell Helicopter’s Xworx as an industry-funded effort, the company demonstrated the simplicity of integrating the Griffin B missile onto the Bell Boeing-built aircraft.

During the test, Bell flight crews launched two missiles, scoring direct hits from both hover mode and during conversion mode at 110k.

Raytheon Air Warfare Systems vice-president Mike Jarrett said: "This is the first time a forward-firing missile has been launched from the V-22.

"It’s an important aspect of the V-22’s capability that integrates a simple to operate, low-cost, precision strike missile, which is something in which the US Air Force Special Operations Command has shown significant interest.

"Griffin B’s successful shots from the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey demonstrate that the missile is flexible and able to integrate on a variety of platforms.

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"The results of this test show how the defence industry can partner to quickly put a new, needed capability in the hands of frontline operators."

According to the company, the test results demonstrate the missile’s versatility with its unique ability to engage static and moving targets through a significant range of launch speeds.

"This is the first time a forward-firing missile has been launched from the V-22."

Designated BGM-176B, the Griffin B is a forward-firing missile capable of launching from rotary and fixed-wing aircraft, ground-launch applications and maritime platforms.

The missile features a significant off-axis launch capability, which enables aircrews to accurately strike targets to the left or right of the aircraft flight path.

Under development since 2008, the Griffin is an air and ground-launched, precise, low-collateral-damage weapon developed for use in irregular warfare operations.

Equipped with a 13lb warhead, the missile has been designed to be launched from the ground or air as a rocket-powered missile, or dropped from the air as a guided bomb. It has a proven track record for successful rapid integration on land, sea, and air assets.


Image: Two Griffin B missiles were launched from a V-22 Osprey multi-mission helicopter at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona, US. Photo: courtesy of James Haseltine (US Air Force).