Raytheon Tests 40mm Pike Missile, With Range of Over 2 Kilometers

Raytheon has tested a new missile that could give a long-range high explosive payload delivery capability to grenadiers in the Army’s infantry rifle squads. From Raytheon’s press release:

TUCSON, Ariz., Oct. 12, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) successfully fired two new Pike 40 mm precision-guided munitions from a standard tube grenade launcher during flight tests at Mile High Resources in Texas. Both rounds landed within the targeted impact area after flying more than 2,300 yards.

“Pike uses a digital, semi-active laser seeker to engage both fixed and slow-moving, mid-range targets,” said J. R. Smith, Raytheon’s Advanced Land Warfare Systems director. “This new guided munition can provide the warfighter with precision, extended-range capability never before seen in a hand-held weapon on the battlefield.”

Weighing less than two pounds and measuring just 16.8 inches in length, Pike can be fired from a conventional, single-shot grenade launcher such as the M320 or EGLM (Enhanced Grenade Launching Module). Pike’s rocket motor ignites eight to 10 feet after launch and is nearly smokeless for reduced launch signature.

“Pike will become smarter and smarter as we continue to develop its capabilities,” said Smith. “In the current configuration, the warfighter will enter programmable laser codes prior to loading Pike into its launcher. Spiral development calls for multiple-round simultaneous programming and targeting with data link capabilities.”

Additional Pike upgrades include the ability to fire it from platform-mounted launchers on small boats, all-terrain vehicles and small unmanned aircraft systems.

The missile is launched from the M320 or EGLM 40mm grenade launcher, but despite the released graphic, will not fit the legacy M203 grenade launchers due to excessive length. It’s worth mentioning further that each of the new missiles weighs approximately the same as 32 rounds of belted 7.62mm ammunition, and each is most likely considerably more effective at destroying point targets, especially as ranges increase.


Raytheon’s new 40mm Pike missile, compatible with M320 underbarrel grenade launchers. Image source: tucson.com


The new Pike miniature missile is one of several recent long-range precision guided weapons designed for use in the infantry squad that could greatly increase their striking power.

Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He is also the author of the original web serial Heartblood, which is being updated and edited regularly. He can be reached via email at nathaniel.f@staff.thefirearmblog.com.


  • Anonymoose

    The only question on my mind is “how much?”

    • buzzman1

      Its for the Army so it doesnt matter how much. I can see a use for it but it would be cheaper to just buy RPGs from the russians.

  • Matrix3692

    Just a matter of time before these come out……Guided, Man-portable, Multi-Launch systems.

    • mechamaster


    • Cattoo

      That’s the Metal Storm rocket launcher system that comes equipped with its own CA compliant politician who will say when it’s okay to use the weapon and then proceed to fire it for you. The rest of the country won’t have to ask permission to use our privately owned missle systems and may just fire them for sport or use them for hunting birds at altitude.

    • buzzman1

      That weapon was just a knock of of the old M202 FLASH (FLame Assault SHoulder Weapon) that was designed to replace the flame thrower.

  • Grzegorz Widera

    Excellent counter sniper equipment.

    • Jon

      Very good sniper equipment.

  • mechamaster

    Somehow my imagination goes to this direction.. Backpack mounted mini-missile launcher like Ghost Recon Future Soldier demo long time ago..

    • Victor Lourenço

      I remember how much flak RedStorm got for this stupid idea.

      • mechamaster

        Sure it’s silly idea, imagine that’s small missile can penetrate Main Battle Tank in the opening cinematic.

        It would be interesting and realistic approach for airburst anti personel use or limited use anti-lightweight vehicle.

      • John

        Everything is a stupid idea until someone does it.

    • TJbrena

      The early build of FS looked better than what we got, at least aesthetically. The final version tries to hard to mix the “rough, dirty operator” who uses mismatched camo or single-color outfits with the “High-Speed Low-Drag operator” who uses FAST-OP helmets and tacticool gear, plus the “Future Soldier” theme. It ended up being a real mixed bag aesthetically.

      The regenerating health and lack of squad commands made it debatable whether it even qualified as a tactical shooter anymore. The forced stealth sections playing like puzzles were the only remaining “tactical” element.

      Wildlands looks like it might be good, but Ubisoft is the Remington of the video game industry – they used to be good, now they make overhyped “revolutionary” products that end up being mediocre, or generic stuff with awful QC, all the while riding off of past glory. I feel like being cautiously optimistic will still hurt me bad.

      • mechamaster

        Yes, what really make me sour with FS other than discarded ‘futuristic-theme’ is ( gameplay wise ) they remove firing selector option ( they treat all weapon as full auto, no provision with semi-auto fire ),

        and ‘2 rifle 1 handgun’ weapon combination got neutered into 2 slot weapon ( for single player campaign, it is stressful ).

        Plus, the COD style scripted cinematic is really screwed the overall gameplay of FS.

  • I cannot find any info on Mile High Resources in Texas.

  • Shmoe

    It’s laser guided? I assume it uses some sort of additional electronics package to “paint” the target or otherwise guide the missile? Also, regarding the name is it named after the medieval weapon or the fish? Sadly the first news source I found for this was RT. *shudder*

    • 11b

      Yeah, you’re going to need an IR laser to paint the target, kind of like an IZLID, but it will have to have its own “code” to talk to the seeker head. Pretty much a tiny little Hellfire missle. Really cool.

      • Shmoe

        Yeah, cool idea, and if it ends up being lighter and less awkward than current shoulder fired options so much the better. My question with this sort of thing is always: “does it bring ordnance on target faster than a radio?” Radios, I like radios!

      • Joshua

        Up next, rail mounted IZILD for the M320.

  • 32 rounds of 7.62 vs a laser guided missile…time to buy some Raytheon stock.

  • Major Tom

    So now we’re gonna have broop troops. Does that mean the next big announcement is gonna be we’re constructing Titans?

    • John

      I prefer E-Frames myself. Battlemechs could be doable, but then you’ve got a guy in a sneaking suit taking them down…

  • Edeco

    Neat, but is that the case, still on the back in the pic of it being fired from an M203?

    • LCON

      Could never have been fired from a M203. it’s to long

    • There are many things wrong with that image…

  • Joshua

    A new era of UBGLs has arrived. This will be revolutionary.

    • I agree. I’m placing my bets that all the bigger and badder inert kinetic rifle rounds that have been marketed recently will seem pretty quaint within a decade thanks to increasingly light and cheap precision high explosive weapons like this.

      • noob

        What will that mean for civillians? Can we get a civvie version to use for sport that has the electronics but lacks the explosive fill?

      • Secundius

        @ Nathaniel F.

        What about the Colt Mk 1 Defender, an 8-Barrel 20-Gauge Short-Shorty “Volley Gun” used in WW2…

  • Hokum

    Ha! Just like I predicted!

  • plingr2

    How they put it in m203? It is too long.

    • Victor Lourenço

      You don’t. It only fits within side-breaching grenade launchers.

      • LCON

        It Will fit Us Army M320 or FN ELGM Mk13 mod 0 or even the old M79. but can’t fit the M32 or the M203.

    • Secundius

      @ plingr2.

      That’s because their NOT using a M203 Grenade Launcher. Their using a M320 Missile Launcher, instead…

  • Anomanom

    Umm, a couple of questions here. Do you load this device and it just hangs out the end of the launcher, or what? The EGLM and the M320 have 9 and 11 inch barrels. It seems like that would lead to it getting damaged, or dirtying up the sensor window.

    Second, if anyone with knowledge knows, how smart is the laser tracking? I’m just rather picturing someone painting the target and firing, then being forced to take cover from enemy fire such that the laser is now pointed into the sky, or worse yet at the ground about two feet away, and all of a sudden the mini-missile is flying off into the sky, or else deciding to come back. The first would just be a waste, but the second would be decidedly ungood.

    On the other hand, OMG it’s a pocket sized hellfire missile, DO WANT!

    • All the Raindrops

      Ypu would not load it and patrol around with it hanging off your gun. It would be carried off-weapon and deployed when the situation calls for it.

      As far as guidance, there are various methods, I don’t know what this one is, but suffice to say it’s not dumb enough yo circle back around and hit you if you point your weapon/designator at the ground in front of you.

      • Anomanom

        Well that’s good then. I do tech support (not for missiles) so i generally assume that the user will do the stupidest possible thing at any time.

      • buzzman1

        Most weapons like this will go to the last designate/illuminated point, If irts a moving target your screwed if you cant follow it with the laser.

    • Mad Marsupial

      I imagine you tackle it as a ‘crew served’ weapon of sorts.

      One guy paints the target or operates the guidance system, while the other stands up and pulls the bang switch.

  • Darhar M.

    Aside from being a military munition that is one beautiful piece of ordinance.
    So what is the cost per round?

  • nova3930

    I’m interested to know what the designator system looks like. Got to take that into consideration for loadout…

  • Cornelius Carroll

    This seems like it would be an excellent part of a counter-sniper package: audio receivers on troops triangulate the location of the shooter, a micro drone is deployed to laser designate, and then a soldier just has to pop out and fire one of these in the general direction of the target at a 30-45 degree angle.

    Not to mention this could be used for counter-defilade and possibly against lightly armored vehicles as well. Overall, this seems like the sort of weapon that could make a squadron much more independent and capable.

  • Damien

    This would make a whole lot more sense as an RPG-7 launched device, or muzzle loaded into m203s, or as a rifle grenade.

    • All the Raindrops

      Why? Being able to launch from an underbarrel module seems way more convenient.

  • mikewest007

    Hmm, was it only me who had the idea to design a shoulder-fired revolver launcher like the Milkor MGL, just with the chambers extended to fit the Pike missile, and slap a laser designator on it to have an easily reloadable, multi-shot weapon?

    • LCON

      would need a ridiculously long cylinder the Pike is 16 inches long.

      • iksnilol

        Could make it tall, so that foregrip is on almost the same level as the bottom chamber.

        Would probably require a periscope optic or some sort of electronic optic which would involve a screen that you look at and a camera right above the barrel.

        Would probably be heavy due to needing 40 cm barrels if you intend on keeping it loaded for extended periods of time.

        Here’s a (bad) mockup of what I mean.

  • avconsumer2

    Wow. Game changer right there.

  • $2,000.00 Price per round?

    • All the Raindrops

      Likely quite a bit more.

    • buzzman1

      That would be a bargain compared to a full sized Hellfire or bringing in an A-10 or F-16

  • I’ll clarify with Raytheon.

  • Not enough info in that article

    • I am gonna add that link to the article, though. At the very least, the picture is nice.

  • Edeco

    Hmmm, so the tip and a few inches of shaft will stick out of the end of the barrel. Probably not a major issue but I wonder if it’s muzzle-blast resistant.

    • Matrix3692

      You can always load just before you fire. Anyway, you’ll have to wait your squad mate to paint the target with an independent laser designator, so where wouldn’t be much time lost.

  • Edeco

    I just dialed up a user’s manual. Looks like the M203 barrel can be
    slid completely off. So it wouldn’t be using-as-directed, but it would appear
    one could get it loaded up that way…

  • I think the M320 will likely be a good platform for it as well.

    • Old Fart

      I have no doubt, just like the GL-06 much better though.

      • LCON

        would also in theory work with Fn EGLM, M79 the new Australian SL90 Under barrel launcher the new Israeli GL 40 launcher GPBO-40 underbarrel and GSBO-40 stand-alone grenade launchers the Milkor Underbarrel Grenade launcher,

        • Old Fart

          Yep. I’m not a fan of anything ‘under barrel’ though. A setup like that makes for neither a good rifle nor a good grenade launcher. Remember, your rifle is always your primary weapon. If you add an under barrel grenade launcher you’re adding dead weight most of the time, so it’s best to keep those two separate. Same thing with shot guns.

          • LCON

            well M320 has the nice touch of being both stand alone and mounted. the Question for this thing though is will it be adopted. I mean there have been under barrel rocket and missile systems before that never really took off Like The RAW or Scorpion.
            And then there is the Iranian NADER 84mm/40mm system that is a RPG under barrel launcher… If that thing doesn’t have special Rounds I imagine its a quick way to send both shooter and target to the afterlife.

          • Old Fart

            I know the M320 is a hybrid-like concept. The GL-06 is just a better, more properly laid out design.

          • buzzman1

            Yeah, There is a reason for that long pipe that extends behind the RPG Shooter.

  • guest

    At such size and weight it can’t be much of an anti-armor missile, so I am guessing HE-frag. And with an engine enough to fly it for 2km it can’t carry much of HE. Plus the lazer means it’s not a fire-and-forget missile but a 2 man operation at least. So what exactly could justify this? Snipers? Small moving soft targets?

    • Michael Wright

      Ever hear of a 40mm HEDP, BLU-97,or M42 all are much much smaller and have an anti armor use. You would be surprised what kind of armor cutting you can get from a very small shaped charge

    • Zebra Dun

      APC’s and armored vehicles are not armored all over there are weak spots that can be targeted.

  • noob

    High powered laser designators like the Thales TYR work in the infrared range. The laser burns the retinas of the individuals in the target area and they don’t know to blink because they can’t see the laser. Apparently this causes a gritty feeling in the eyes, like welders get if they look at the arc too long. People say that the magnification on the optics typically slaved to the TYR are good enough that when lasing, you can clearly see that the very last thing the target does is rub his eyes to relieve that gritty feeling just before a Hellfire blows the white hilux he’s riding in to hell.

  • LazyReader

    So it won’t fire thru a M203 but a pic depicting it being fired thru a 203. And since it won’t fire thru a 203 it’s usless to the AirForce, Marines and Navy that still use the M203. Only the Army has the M320 which is three times more expensive than the M203

  • Jon

    Looking at how technology and energy dependant are becoming the US armed forces, taking out the electricity and jaming all electromagnetic communication bands would make them a much easier nut to crack to any less tecnologically dependant army.

    • Shanghaied

      It’s not going to be easy though. Western forces in Iraq and Afghanistan had the technology to jam wireless IEDs and proximity fuzed mortar and artillery rounds pretty much from the get-go, which mainly came in the form of EA-6 and EA-18 electronic warfare planes. But soldiers still died from IEDs and mortar attacks almost daily, because not even the United States could afford to keep EW planes airborne at all times, wherever there were boots on the ground. Now how any “less technologically dependent army” would manage that is anyone’s guess.

      • Jon

        I was speaking about a war between US forces and another not so technologically dependant regular forces. But think in a US-taliban encounter without communications and with any gear batterie out of charge. Or think in a less electronic dependant army attacking US forces after destroying all electricity generator and/or jamming all electronic communication in a large territory during a large period of time.

  • iksnilol

    That’s just an automatic grenade launcher, entirely different beast.

    • Jon

      Raytheon has produced a different ammunition type for a grenade launcher, to give it the same role of that automatic grenade launcher.

      • iksnilol

        You lost me.

        Small precision missile seems to me to have a different use than an automatic grenade launcher that saturates an are with explosives.

  • That’s pretty cool

  • Madcap_Magician

    How do you lase the target? Would be great if there was a target designator package for the Raven drone.

  • buzzman1

    Updated M-72. Looks good. A decent 72 gunner could have 5-6 rounds in the air before the first one impacted. Direct fire sucked though.

  • Theodore Kennedy

    Sounds like the perfect missile for a small unmanned drone; say a 1/6 scale fighter!

  • Zebra Dun

    New mission for the 0351 rockets?