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Air-Launched Weapons

Thales conducts first laser-guided BAT-120LG shot

12 February 2019
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A prototype BAT-120LG round being released from a French Air Force Mirage 2000D at Biscarrosse, southwest France, in June 2018. This was the first guided release of the developmental munition. Source: Thales/DGA

Thales, in collaboration with the French Directorate General of Armaments (Direction Générale de l'Armement: DGA), has conducted the first guided targeting shot of its prototype 120mm BAT-120 LG unpowered, lightweight, laser-guided, air-to-surface munition.

The BAT-120LG munition was launched from a French Air Force Mirage 2000D multirole combat aircraft against a static representative ground target at the DGA missile test range in Biscarrosse, southwest France, at the beginning of December 2018, the company has disclosed. This follows the first guided release of an all-up BAT-120LG round in June 2018 from the same aircraft type, also at Biscarrosse. During that trial the prototype munition executed trajectory corrections in accordance with the test plan.

Thales declined to disclose specific detail of the targeting shot, including range or height. A company spokesperson told Jane's , "The numbers are confidential, but it is interesting to note that the trial was a success despite poor weather conditions: high winds, poor visibility."

Developed in collaboration with the DGA, the BAT-120LG round is evolved from the legacy Thomson Brandt Armements 120 mm Bombe d'Appui Tactique (BAT-120) tactical support bomb. The new munition is designed to engage lightly armoured or soft-skinned fixed or mobile targets, moving inshore maritime targets, or light structures from a fixed-wing platform at medium and high altitudes.

Weighing 35 kg with a 10 kg high explosive warhead, the BAT-120LG retains the airframe of the legacy BAT-120 but introduces the laser-guidance sub-assembly of the Thales Aculeus LG 68 mm laser-guided induction rocket and the laser guidance solution of the developmental Thales 120mm guided mortar round (Munition Guidée de Mortier: MGM) to create a 120 mm laser-guidance front-end assembly.

The semi-active laser seeker, inertial measurement unit, battery, electronic controller unit, and a modified software package are all derived from the Aculeus LG, while the control actuator system is adapted from the MGM round.

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