The US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) Program Executive Office (PEO) Fixed Wing has signed a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) with Textron Defense Systems for the production of precision guided munitions (PGM).

As part of the agreement, the two parties will concentrate efforts on further development of Textron’s Guided Clean Area Weapon (G-CLAW), a blast-fragmented unitary area munition.

Preliminary work will see the munitions integrated into PEO Fixed Wing’s common launch tube dispenser, followed by evaluations to obtain flight and weapons safety certifications.

The integration activities will conclude with inert and live-fire demonstrations of precision unitary munition delivery from a tactical carrier aircraft, such as the Lockheed Martin-built MC-130W Dragon Spear special mission aircraft.

Ellen Lord, Textron Defense Systems senior vice president and general manager, said the G-CLAW enables operators to shape the attack over a broad area, and to achieve precision effects using GPS targeting and a powerful warhead.

"Further, it incorporates all of the safety features we’ve carefully designed, developed, tested and demonstrated to prevent UXO,” Lord added.

”Integrating this unitary system into the USSOCOM common launch tube could bring G-CLAW capabilities and performance to multiple new aircraft platforms for the gamut of irregular warfare missions."

Weighing 64lbs, the G-CLAW is a cost-effective guided precision weapon offering anti-personnel and anti-material capabilities, with features for low collateral damage and hazardous unexploded ordnance (UXO) prevention.

Designed for delivery from a range of tactical munitions dispensers, glide dispensers, cruise missiles and guided rockets, the air-to-ground munition is capable of providing enhanced effectiveness compared to a 1,000lb legacy weapon.