Raytheon has been awarded a contract for the supply of its Paveway IV precision-guided munitions (PGM) to an undisclosed international customer.
Valued at more than $200m, the deal represents the first sale of Paveway IV bombs outside the UK, and covers delivery of hundreds of the advanced munitions.
Raytheon UK chief executive said Richard Daniel said the contract is an export boost to the UK, and will help support hundreds of manufacturing and engineering jobs at Raytheon’s facilities and in the supply chain across the country.
"Developed in Harlow, with the advanced guidance system produced in Glenrothes, Paveway IV™ has delivered considerable operational capability to the UK and allied forces in numerous military operations," Daniel said.
Even though the identity of the customer could not be confirmed by the company, it is believed to be the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF).
Manufactured by Raytheon, the Paveway IV is a low-cost, dual mode GPS/INS and laser guided bomb designed to provide the aircraft with a 24-hour precision bombing capability to defeat a wide range of general-purpose targets with minimum collateral damage in all-weather conditions.
The cockpit-programmable weapon enables the aircrew to select weapon impact angle, attack direction and fusing mode during a mission, thus providing maximum flexibility for destruction of re-locatable, moving, as well as fixed targets.
Regarded as the ‘weapon of choice’ for the Royal Air Force (RAF), Paveway IV has already proven its effectiveness during the service’s 2011 air campaign over Libya, and also in Afghanistan.
Production of weapons will take place over the next two years, while the first bombs are scheduled to be handed over to the customer in around 18 months, Defensenews reports citing Raytheon UK weapons business director, John Michel.
Image: A Paveway IV laser guided bomb mounted underneath the wings of a RAF Harrier GR9 prior to a sortie over Afghanistan. Photo: MoD/Crown ©.