New shoulder-fired bunker buster

Predator Anti-Tank Missile for Urban Assault

srawinside.jpgMore military transformation. Right before our eyes.

Responding to an urgent request from warfighters, Lockheed Martin expanded the capabilities of its Predator anti-tank weapon and delivered 400 rounds to the U.S. Marine Corps.

The U.S. Marine Corps requested Lockheed Martin to modify the shoulder- fired, short-range Predator anti-tank weapon into a direct-attack urban assault weapon. Renamed the Short-Range Assault Weapon-Multiple Purpose Variant (SRAW-MPV), the new urban assault missile has a multiple-purpose blast warhead, enabling it to defeat a variety of targets such as buildings and bunkers, as well as light-armored vehicles.

Don’t confuse this with missiles fired from the Predator UAV. Those on the receiving end, though, won’t care that if it’s the same or different.

Lockheed Martin previously delivered 344 Predator rounds under a Low-Rate Initial Production-I contract. Both the Predator and SRAW-MPV weapons are fully man-rated (all qualification, safety certification and gunner hazard tests are complete, any limitations on the use of the weapon are quantified and documented, and the weapon is tested as safe to fire within the defined limitations) — ready to deploy.

The U.S. Army is evaluating options for upgrading its urban assault weapon capabilities for fire from enclosure and improved performance over the next few years, and SRAW-MPV, in its current configuration, will meet most of these upgrade requirements. U.S. allies also have urban warfare requirements that SRAW-MPV will meet.

Something tells me the Marines will be on to the next generation of this bad boy before their evaluations complete. Maybe, assuming it’s effective in Iraq, the usage by the Marines will speed things along a bit.

Comments

  1. Murd Yes, but do it fit snugly in a ‘freedom fighters’ asshole?…..I guess it doesn’t matter, now that I think about it! I think I want one.

  2. It looks like a larger caliber version of the SMAW (http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/ground/smaw.htm). Would be useful for knocking down walls. The SMAW is basically an old-fashioned unguided 83mm bazooka with a 9mm barrel for firing a spotting round. The gunner fires off a 9mm tracer to see if he is on target. Where the tracer goes, the missile will go. A good tool for urban combat and more cost effective than using TOW’s or Dragon’s to knock down walls and bust bunkers. Sounds like the SRAW uses lasers and electronics instead of the tracer round for accuracy – which can certainly attract a lot of unwanted attention. That may be what they are talking about when they mention minimizing exposure to enemy counter-fire. Or it could be the fact that the gunner does not have to guide the missile to target like a Roland or Dragon. Does this mean the SMAW is on the way out? I always liked it because it looked like a WWII bazooka from the movies. The Army was decided it didn’t need the SMAW before the first Gulf War, then panicked and ‘borrowed’ a bunch from the Marines.

  3. uses lasers and electronics instead of the tracer round for accuracy’ Not quite.. it seems like this has some serious electronics in its warhead, as it can perform top-attack on tanks, I guess it is kind of like a dumber Javelin, but at a very much lowered cost. http://www.army-technology.com/projects/predator_kestrel/ Looks like a good investment, at a good price… where can I buy one? :P

  4. If I understood the article, it uses an integrated laser range finder to calculate distance so the gunner aims properly – instead of the gunner estimating manually and shooting a tracer to check his aim with the tracer. Laser range finders are probably relatively cheap – I see them in golf shops. The laser is not used to guide the missile after it is launched like the more sophisticated long-range anti-tank systems.

  5. Something like this is a kick ass tool to add to the arsenal of the ground pounders. The ability to take down a hardened bunker from the outside without having to call CAS is just wonderful!

  6. I consider myelf ‘in the know’ on weapons systems (from all my geeky ‘mil’ reading); I have to admit I didn’t know about this bunker bustin’ ‘bad boy’. Good link on it Vstress….thanks! I was impressed by how short the launch tube is, must be a bit handier in tight confines.

  7. I realise the gunner does not need to guide the weapon.. and the launcher is not very complex. But, the rocket is more expensive.. and has multiple sensors, if you look at the article you will see if you read the article and my post: ‘has some serious electronics in its warhead’ note use of word ‘warhead’ Since it is more accurate to ‘steer’ the weapon after launch, hence the internal inertial guidance etc. As it removes errors due to gravitational effects, aerodynamic effects (due to an updraft from a building, wind, etc.) Hence this internal guidance removes the need for ‘guesswork’. Making launch faster, simpler, easier and reduces launch tube length (as mentioned by Flanker). Indoor launch is also significantly safer, as the initial propellant charge will have to be less, as rocket exit velocity can be low, as the guidance will correct the drop of the rocket.

  8. Kick ass all infidel terrorist…they go to hell not heaven if they die. they are nuts and hated by allah..