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Air-Launched Weapons

Surface Navy 2018: Orbital ATK plans to test 6 lb air-dropped Hatchet munition in 2018

10 January 2018

Orbital ATK plans to conduct live-fire guide-to-hit trials with an all-up Hatchet miniature precision strike weapon sometime in 2018. (Orbital ATK)Orbital ATK plans to conduct live-fire guide-to-hit trials with an all-up Hatchet miniature precision strike weapon sometime in 2018. (Orbital ATK)In 2018 Orbital ATK plans to conduct live-fire guide-to-hit trials with an all-up Hatchet air-launched munition, an internally funded effort to develop a 6 lb (2.72 kg) precision-guided weapon.

Company officials told Jane’s that, although it has a small explosive charge, Hatchet’s fragmentation aspect is “almost equivalent to a 500 lb bomb”. This is achieved via Orbital ATK’s Lethality Enhanced Ordnance (LEO) that is used for the US Army’s M1061 mortar cartridge and the Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) Alternative Warhead (AW) solution.

LEO technology does not use explosive submunitions, and instead has inert tungsten projectiles that do not leave behind unexploded ordinance.

Hatchet has a tri-wing design, with three aft control surfaces and three fixed mid-body wings.

Orbital ATK believes it could be used for "scalable lethality". Because of its light weight, many could be loaded to larger aircraft or unmanned system with smaller payload capacity could be armed.

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