Nov 19, 2014
RAF To Be Equipped With Bunker Busting Version of Paveway IV
Raytheon UK, the weapon’s maker, is conducting preparatory work using an existing contract with the MoD ahead of a possible deal next year to equip Royal Air Force and Fleet Air Arm jets with a compact warhead.
The contractors carried out ground trials at the UK’s Pendine test range in 2012.
A new warhead and fuze for the Paveway IV would replace earlier generation weapons like the Paveway III bunker buster used by the Royal Air Force in Libya in 2011.
The new generation Paveway IV has a 500-pound warhead compared with 2,000-pounds for the Paveway III.
Paveway IV is carried by RAF Tornado jets and was recently cleared for action onboard the Typhoon.
Typhoon contractor BAE Systems announced earlier this month that two Paveway IVs had been released from the combat jet simultaneously for the first time during a recent flight test.
Aside from the Tornado and Typhoon, the Paveway IV will also be fitted to the F-35B when it enters service with the RAF and the Royal Navy later in the decade.
The weapon has also been acquired by Typhoon and Tornado operator Saudi Arabia.
Executives are now targeting Oman as a second Paveway IV export customer following their purchase of Typhoon jets.