Upcoming Events

No current events.

The video shows a test launch of Scorpion, a thirty-five pound laser-guided glide bomb developed by Lockheed Martin and a rival to the GBU-44 Viper Strike, which is already in service. In this test, several munitions are released in quick succession from a high-speed sled.

The Scorpion has wings which unfold after launch. The makers say that this can give it a range of at least ten miles, although this is dependent on the launch conditions. A faster, higher-altitude launch will give greater range than a slow drop from low altitude, as Scorpion itself is unpowered and glides to the target. The initial design uses laser guidance, but potential upgrades include a millimeter-wave radar seeker and an imaging infra-red sensor under development.

Scorpion can be fitted to the same launch rails as the Hellfire missile employed by the Predator drone. But three much-smaller Scorpions can be fitted in place of one Hellfire, potentially tripling the number of shots available to a drone or helicopter.

However, as the video indicates, rather than being fired from a rail a number of Scorpions can be carried inside an aerodynamic pod carried by a high-speed platform. As Danger Room revealed earlier this year, Air Force Special Operations Command is rushing a new type of weapon into service known as Gunslinger. This is a system that mounts ten Viper Strike weapons and will be fitted to on MC-130W Combat Spear aircraft, turning them into low-cost gunships. 

Source: Lockheed Martin (pdf) via Wired Danger Room