Guided rockets hit fast-moving boat targets in test

Nov 29, 2011
The Low-Cost Imaging Terminal Seeker, a weapon prototype developed by the Office of Naval Research, a suite of low-cost technologies that modify existing helicopter-borne rockets into precision-guided weapons. By adding an infrared imaging guidance section to 2.75-inch Hydra-70 rockets, the researchers are providing naval aviators with a new lethal capability. Credit: US Navy photo

A weapon prototype developed by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) successfully hit two high-speed boat targets during recent testing in Point Mugu, Calif.

"It's a fire-and-forget weapon," said Ken Heeke, the ONR program officer for the Low-Cost Imaging Terminal Seeker (LCITS). "No longer do you have to continue to monitor the target after you've fired the weapon. You can move on to the next threat with the assurance that the will hit the target."

ONR researchers produced LCITS, a suite of low-cost technologies that modify existing helicopter-borne rockets into precision-guided weapons. By adding an infrared imaging guidance section to 2.75-inch Hydra-70 rockets, the researchers are providing naval aviators with a new lethal capability.

Unlike laser-guided weapons that require operators to select and monitor a target from launch to detonation, LCITS gives unguided rockets the ability to compute and home in on targets automatically after launch.

In the Nov. 3 test, Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division engineers used a shore-based launcher to fire two LCITS rockets, one inert and the other with an explosive warhead. Using inertial guidance, they flew to a point where the infrared terminal guidance system took over. Onboard imaging infrared seekers identified their intended targets among five maneuvering small boats. The rockets adjusted trajectories to intercept and eliminate two of the boats.

The test was part of the Medusa Joint Capability , an effort funded by the Department of the Navy, Office of the Secretary of Defense and Republic of Korea.

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User comments : 10

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Vendicar_Decarian
2 / 5 (8) Nov 29, 2011
"the researchers are providing naval aviators with a new lethal capability. " - Article

Clearly Americans are planning to murder more millions of people.

Time to defund America.
rwinners
5 / 5 (1) Nov 30, 2011
Hey, how about putting a couple of these, the inert version, on both sides of US flagged tankers. Might do wonders in combating the hijacking problem in the Indian Ocean.
NotAsleep
5 / 5 (1) Nov 30, 2011
VD, millions? With hydra rockets (now missiles, since they are guided)? I appreciate your faith in our ability to blow things up but you'd need a LOT of these to kill "millions"

Unless the Army gets their hands on these, the only feasible mission would be for the coast guard attacking drug runners or, as rwinners points out, combating piracy. Helicopters firing small hydras are not the ideal choice to attack anything large or, as VD points out, buildings such as orphanages full of babies and kittens
Nerdyguy
1 / 5 (1) Nov 30, 2011
For some reason, I thought our latest generation of choppers were already using true fire-and-forget. Were these not available in some configuration?
NotAsleep
not rated yet Nov 30, 2011
We do have plenty of fire-and-forget. I think this is meant to be a low budget fire-and-forget... hydras are relatively cheap compared to existing tech
Nerdyguy
not rated yet Nov 30, 2011
Unless the Army gets their hands on these, the only feasible mission would be for the coast guard attacking drug runners or, as rwinners points out, combating piracy.


Special ops support and marine escorts in/out of hostile embassies too. Both use lots of choppers off carriers.

NotAsleep
not rated yet Nov 30, 2011
Perhaps but, from experience, special ops tends to use more expensive laser-guided missiles to ensure accuracy. When using an infrared guidance system there is generally a higher chance of failure to lock on.

That being said: I have no technical specs on these new missiles so you could be entirely right!
Nerdyguy
not rated yet Nov 30, 2011
Hey, how about putting a couple of these, the inert version, on both sides of US flagged tankers. Might do wonders in combating the hijacking problem in the Indian Ocean.


Laws in the port nations prevent it. Ridiculous, IMO.
Nerdyguy
not rated yet Nov 30, 2011
Perhaps but, from experience, special ops tends to use more expensive laser-guided missiles to ensure accuracy. When using an infrared guidance system there is generally a higher chance of failure to lock on.

That being said: I have no technical specs on these new missiles so you could be entirely right!


Actually, you're right. I was thinking about the troop-carrier off of carriers and such.
Dichotomy
not rated yet Dec 16, 2011
I see most of the application being in counter-drug ops to deal with gofasts. Many of these will throw people (kidnapped/illegal immigrants) overboard when they see the coast guard helicopter forcing the helicopter to chose between continuing to pursue the boat or save the person. As a matter of policy we save the person and let the drugs go with the hope of catching them later. This development gives us a cost effective way of taking out the boat while still being able to save the person. Vendicar, as a military veteran I've saved more innocent lives than my cousin has who is a doctor (saving entire communities from being wiped out by insurgents who don't like individuals from rival tribes). While I don't agree with all the policies and decisions of governments, if the U.S. military was in the business of killing civilians, places like Iraq and Afghanistan would be devoid of human life.

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