Rafael Advanced Defence Systems has released details of its EPIK (Electro-Optical Precision Integration Kit) technology development - a capability enhancement designed to furnish unguided surface-to-surface rocket system effectors with autonomous stand-off precision guidance and increased range.
EPIK is an add-on precision guidance kit (PGK) that leverages the electro-optical sensor and scene-matching/signal processing technologies developed for Rafael’s Spice family of air-to-surface munitions.
“EPIK is similar in concept to the add-on PGK we developed for the Spice munition,” Gal Papier, Head of Marketing & Business Development, Precision Tactical Weapons Systems at Rafael Advanced Defence Systems, told Jane’s .
“We saw that the Spice technology excelled as capability multiplier for air forces; however, a considerable number of ground forces have unguided surface-to-surface rockets in their inventories – these have a high circular error probable (CEP) – meaning they don’t hit the target precisely, they hit around it.
“Consequently, over the past two years we’ve leveraged that technology to inform development of the EPIK concept to address growing demands from ground forces for a solution that can engage autonomously, in multiple areas and hit multiple targets, with precision, simultaneously,” said Papier.
“We’ve now completed risk mitigation of the process of installing the add-on kit on a rocket – primarily with the 122 mm Grad surface-to-surface rocket – although we can add EPIK to any calibre of unguided surface-to-surface effector that has a motor and warhead.
“We’ve already fired several EPIK-equipped rockets to prove the capability, and have now reached a sufficient level of maturity – Technical Readiness Level 6 – where we feel we can now disclose this development.”
The EPIK add-on architecture includes an uncooled infrared (IR) sensor, a laser sensor to enable engagement of moving targets, as well as an onboard inertial navigation system (INS) and a global positioning system (GPS) only used for back-up.
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