Raytheon has been awarded a replenishment contract by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) for the latest generation Paveway IV global positioning system (GPS) precision-guided munition.

The contract is a part of UK MoD’s Selective Precision Effects at Range (SPEAR) CAP 1 programme aimed to enhance the system’s capability with low collateral and penetrator warhead options as well as enhanced moving target capability and range.

IGMR FreeFall IPT Leader wing commander Clive Roads said: "Raytheon UK have been able to react very quickly to the need to replenish our stocks of the high precision, all weather, Paveway IV weapon system to maintain our ability to react at short notice to emerging threats."

The weapon features fail-safe fuse mechanism that enables it to detonate only when it reaches its designated target.

Additional features include the GPS technology and a laser guidance system, which makes it unaffected by clouds or smoke screens while providing 24-hour attack capability against a wide range of targets for UK.

The UK Defence Equipment Support and Technology Minister Peter Luff said the Paveway IV bomb has been proven in combat in Afghanistan, where it continues to equip RAF Tornados, and in operations in support of the UN over Libya.

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"By stabilising the Defence budget, more and more we are able to commit to equipment projects which help to safeguard our national security," Luff added.

Raytheon’s Paveway systems are designed to upgrade bombs into precision-guided weapons using laser and global-positioning guidance systems.

More than 25 aircraft worldwide have been integrated with the weapon for performing combat operations, and over 300,000 Paveways are in the inventory of 43 nations.

The Raytheon team for the long lead-time procurement includes Portsmouth Aviation, Thales Missile Electronics and EDO MBM and the delivery schedule has been reduced to seven months from 18 months.

Work will be carried out at the company’s facility in Glenrothes, Scotland and Harlow, Essex, UK.