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.
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.