US aerospace and defence firm Lockheed Martin’s Scorpion strike weapon carried out a successful air-launched flight test on 17 June, the company reported four days later.
The Lockheed Martin Scorpion is a compact and low-weight munition capable of being launched from a range of different platforms and used against multiple different targets - including armoured vehicles, missile launch devices, buildings and enemy forces on the ground – located up to 10 nautical miles away. It is just under two feet long, just over four inches wide and weighs under 35 pounds.
Scorpion Missile Test Launch
The Scorpion missile’s test launch occurred 5,000 feet above the ground after it had been carried up by a C-130 Hercules military transport aircraft and, once free of its carrier, it deployed its flying surfaces to carry out a precision descent to a pre-designated target. This descent lasted for 1.65 nautical miles and during it, the Scorpion’s SAL (Semi-Active Laser) technology was used to direct it towards the target.
“Scorpion provides the Warfighter with a much-needed affordable solution against targets in areas requiring low collateral damage, such as urban environments,” Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control’s Strike Weapons Vice President, Randy Bigum, stated in an online company press release. “This precision attack munition features a small, lethal warhead which can be launched from a wide variety of platforms to take out time-critical fixed or moving targets.
Lockheed Martin Scorpion
Lockheed Martin’s Scorpion is capable of being teamed up with a variety of seekers in line with the mission at hand: imaging infrared, shortwave infrared and millimetre wave seekers among them. All give the weapon accuracy to within one metre, substantially mitigating the risk of associated collateral damage occurring.
A wide variety of different warheads can also be fitted to the weapon, again – as demanded by the nature of its use.
Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control is a Lockheed Martin sub-division based in Texas. It produces a range of products such as air-to-ground missiles, air-to-air missiles, missile launchers and fire support technologies.
To date, the Target Acquisition Designation Sight, Pilot Night Vision System (TADS/PNVS) programme for the US Army’s fleet of AH-64 Apache combat helicopter has been LM MFC’s major success story.
Scorpion image courtesy of Lockheed Martin
See also -
Laser Guided Weapons for US Strike Aircraft