2015-06-20 We have written earlier about UK-US collaboration on the launch of the F-35 global enterprise.
This has recently been most visible with regard to F-35B shipboard integration operational tests aboard the USS WASP.
The F-35 Lightning II Pax River Integrated Test Force from Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23 conducted the first weapons separation test of the UK’s Paveway IV precision-guided bomb from an F-35B Lightning II short take-off/vertical-landing (STOVL) variant June 12.
During flight 461 over the NAVAIR Atlantic Test Ranges, RAF Squadron Leader Andy Edgell dropped two inert Paveway IV bombs from aircraft BF-03.
This test is the first of a series of UK weapons separation events scheduled for 2015.
Lockheed Martin video by Michael D. Jackson.
The Paveway IV is a bi- product of the complex weapons approach shaped by UK MoD.
This weapons complex approach anticipated the opportunity to integrate fourth and fifth generation aircraft.
At heart, the notion is that the weapons dynamic is a significant one for 21st century military operations, and MoD shaped a way to ensure that weapons could be more effective enablers of those operations.
Raytheon UK is not part of the Complex Weapons team but is clearly affected by the approach.
UK MoD wants weapons which enable integration of their 21st century combat enterprise, and to do so with regard to global export opportunities.
This will clearly be helped by the F-35 approach to software integration of weapons for the global enterprise, not simply nationally equipped combat aircraft.
Team Complex Weapons” has been described as follows on the MBDA website:
Team CW defines an approach to delivering the UK’s Complex Weapons requirements in an affordable manner that also ensures a viable industrial capacity with MOD being the architects of the sector strategy.
The first implementation of this approach is through the MOD–MBDA Portfolio Management Agreement, which has been independently evaluated as offering £1.2Bn of benefit to MOD over the course of the next 10 years.
This Agreement aims to transform the way in which CW business is conducted by MOD with its main supplier.
At the heart of this is a joint approach to the delivery of the required capability based on an open exchange of information and flexibility in the means of delivery.It is therefore anticipated that the Agreement will be consistent with the future direction of acquisition reform within MOD and is well positioned to respond positively to the conclusions of the SDSR.
At the Farnbourgh Air Show in 2010, Second Line of Defense attended a media briefing held by MBDA which provided a good overview on the Team CW approach.
The business model is of interest, not only for shaping a key ally’s approach to shaping future capability but in terms of being a potential harbinger for how MOD will handle efforts to maintain capabilities in the face of fiscal stringencies.
Lord Drayson in his formulation of the defense industrial strategy forged a number of initiatives, one of which was Team CW.
The idea was to bring MOD into closer partnership with its weapons providers and supply chain to shape evolving capabilities in the industry with an eye to enhanced efficiencies but at the same time ensuring UK operational sovereignty in this key area of future military capability.
The baseline agreement was signed in June 2006 between MBDA, QinetiQ, Roxel and Thales UK as well as other members of the weapons supply chain to work with MOD in shaping development of future weapons.
The idea has been to share risk, guide investment and clarify early for MOD what procurement choices are optimal for its point of view.
At the heart of the concept is to try to bridge the gap between industry and MOD in reducing risk and enhancing effective procurement.
Obviously there are a number of challenges ranging for Intellectual Property ownership, investment sharing between government and diversity of private sector competitors to the question of the relationship between Team CW, MOD and the companies, such as Raytheon who are outside of the arrangement.
Also, see the Defence Growth Partnership effort:
With regard to Paveway IV:
Paveway IV is a dual mode GPS/INS and laser-guided bomb manufactured by Raytheon UK (formerly Raytheon Systems Limited). It is the latest iteration of the Paveway series.
The weapon is a guidance kit based on the existing Enhanced Paveway II Enhanced Computer Control Group (ECCG) added to a modified Mk 82 general-purpose bomb with increased penetration performance. The new ECCG contains a Height of Burst (HOB) sensor enabling air burst fusing options, and a SAASM (Selective Availability Anti Spoofing Module) compliant GPS receiver. It can be launched either IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) only, given sufficiently good Transfer Alignment, or using GPS guidance. Terminal laser guidance is available in either navigation mode.
The Paveway IV entered service with the Royal Air Force in 2008. It has yet to be accepted into service with the United States, which has pursued the development of the Laser-JDAM and dual mode Small-Diameter Bomb (SDB).
The Paveway IV’s first export sale was to the Royal Saudi Air Force in a deal worth approximately £150 million (US $247 million). The deal had been delayed for several years by the U.S. State Department which had to authorise the bomb’s sale due to its use of American components. A contract was signed in December 2013 with Congressional approval given two months later, with deliveries to begin within 18 months.
The Paveway IV was first used operationally by the Royal Air Force during Operation Herrick in Afghanistan. It was later used operationally during Operation Ellamy in Libya. In September 2014, a Tornado GR4 of the Royal Air Force dropped a Paveway IV bomb on a heavy weapon position operated by Islamic State militants in northwest Iraq, marking the first engagement of the British military against IS targets. Eurofighter Typhoons of the Royal Saudi Air Force have also dropped Paveway IV’s on ISIL targets in Syria.
Raytheon UK is conducting preparatory work to equip the Paveway IV with a bunker-busting warhead as part of the Selective Precision Effects At Range (Spear) Capability 1 program. The compact penetrator has the same outer mold line and mass of the regular Paveway IV and uses a discarding shroud design. A penetrating 500 lb Paveway IV would replace the RAF’s previous 2,000 lb Paveway III bunker buster.
1 “Paveway IV”. Royal Air Force. Retrieved 7 January 2015.
2 “Paveway IV Smart Bomb Enters Service with Royal Navy and Royal Air Force”. Deagel.com. 10 December 2008. Retrieved 7 January 2015.
3 “Saudi Arabia becomes first Paveway IV export customer”. IHS Jane’s. 25 March 2014. Retrieved 7 January 2015.
4 “Raytheon Secures First Export for Paveway IV”. Defense News. 25 March 2014. Retrieved 7 January 2015.
5 RAF Tornados strike first Islamic State targets – Flightglobal.com, 30 September 2014
6 “Saudi Typhoons Use Paveway IV Bombs on ISIS”. Defense News. 25 February 2015. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
7 RAF To Be Equipped With Bunker Busting Version of Paveway IV – Defensenews.com, 18 November 2014