MBDA’s GBU-44/E Viper Strike weapon has undergone two days of testing at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, US, in a bid to demonstrate its high-speed target attack capability.
During the two-day test, sponsored by the US Government, it was launched from the Cessna Caravan test aircraft and successfully conducted direct engagements on eight tactical vehicles, moving at various ranges of high-speed in different real-time environments.
Viper Strike’s programme manager Tom Bien said: "This proven high-speed target attack capability is a game changer for warfighters that need to hit very fast vehicles with great precision and from any direction of attack."
MBDA President and CEO Jerry Agee said the Viper Strike weapon had been performing well in test and combat environments and will allow troops to strike challenging, high-speed targets.
Used by both manned and unmanned aircraft, the weapon uses GPS-aided navigation and an end-game, semi-active laser seeker to provide precision attacks from extended stand-off ranges against stationary and moving targets, causing low collateral damage.
The gliding weapon is scheduled for deployment with the USMC on its KC-130J Harvest HAWK aircraft.
Featuring highly agile airframe and quiet attack capabilities, the Viper Strike weapon can be launched from a common launch tube, equipped internally or externally onboard various platforms such as aircraft, helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles.
The Viper Strike had previously validated its ability to quickly deploy to strike against moving targets by both air-designated and ground-designated targets using fast-attack software.
Currently, the Viper Strike is in production at MBDA’s Alabama facility in the US.