Air-Launched Weapons

USSOCOM seeks powered stand-off precision-guided munition for gunships and other aircraft

27 February 2018
A US Marine Corps KC-130J Harvest HAWK gunship showing the ramp-mounted tube launchers for the aft-firing AGM-176A Griffin A missile. The Griffin could satisfy a new USSOCOM requirement to equip a number of air platforms, including US Air Force AC-130W/J gunships. Source: US Marine Corps

The US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) has issued a request for information (RFI) for the procurement of a powered stand-off precision-guided munition (SOPGM) for employment aboard gunship variants of the Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules and Cessna Grand Caravan, as well as for other undisclosed air platforms.

The RFI, which was issued in 26 February, calls for a SOPGM to be carried aboard Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) AC-130W Dragon Spear/Stinger II and AC-130J Ghostrider gunships, allied-operated AC-208 Combat Caravan light strike platforms, as well as other manned and unmanned special operations forces (SOF) aircraft.

As noted in the RFI, the SOPGM should be a 50 lb-class munition (including the weight of the Common Launch Tube [CLT] from which it should be fired); can be carrier internally or externally; it should be lethal against static and manoeuvring people and non-armoured vehicles (at speeds exceeding 60 mph [97 km/h] for the latter); it should be equipped with an operator-selected fuze mode for air burst or contact detonation; and it should have a modular warhead that can be removed and replaced without modification to other munition components in non-factory environments.

The munition must be Technology & Integration Readiness Levels 9 (a system that has already been proven through real-world operations) and 5 (fairly advanced control between the technologies necessary for the integration), respectively; and must have demonstrated reliability greater than 90% and accuracy of less than 2 m with 90% Circular Error Probable (supported by 100 or more operationally relevant employments).

Want to read more? For analysis on this article and access to all our insight content, please enquire about our subscription options at

(273 of 566 words)