The United States Army Special Operations Aviation Command (ARSOAC), in association with the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), has performed a series of complex launch trials with the Dynetics baseline and Block I variant GBU-69/B Small Glide Munitions (SGMs) from an ARSOAC MQ-1C Gray Eagle Extended Range (GE-ER) medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aircraft system (UAS).
Conducted in late August at the US Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, the trials mark the first time the GBU-69/B weapon system has been released from a UAS and represent an expanded platform set from which the munition can be employed.
The baseline GBU-69/B SGM is a 60 lb (27.2 kg)-class precision glide munition, 11.4 cm in diameter, and has a wingspan of 71.1 cm. The system incorporates a Selective Availability Anti-Spoofing Module (SAASM) GPS receiver, a BAE Systems Distributed Aperture Semi-Active Laser Seeker (DASALS) adapted from the WGU-59/B Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System for terminal guidance, and a 36 lb (16.3 kg) blast-fragmentation warhead that can be detonated either on impact or using a variable height of burst sensor. The munition features a mid-body fold-out wing assembly and aft lattice control surfaces similar to the Dynetics-developed designs used on the GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast and GBU-57A/B Massive Ordnance Penetrator weapons.
An enhanced variant of the baseline SGM, the GBU-69/B Block 1 variant retains the same 36 lb warhead, but is also furnished with a Raytheon-developed X-Net two-way datalink.
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