L-3, Raytheon Develop Laser-Guided Rocket for Small Boats


TALON launchL-3 and Raytheon have teamed up to develop small boat protection systems using precision-guided 2.75-inch rockets that draws upon laser technology and sensors to pinpoint targets.

While able to fit a number of configurations including potential land and sea applications, the weapon is ideally designed for small boats and littoral environments.  In particular, developers say the weapon would be well suited for patrol craft, riverines, fast attack craft or small boats called corvettes, its developers said.

Called the TALON-RWS, the system combines Raytheon’s TALON 2.75 inch rockets with L-3s Remote Weapons System, or RWS, said Don Linnell, director of business development, integrated optical systems, L-3.

Both Raytheon and L-3’s respective parts of the system have been in existence for a number of years.

“There’s been minimal investment needed because they are both proven systems. We mount the TALON on the RWS,” Linnell added.

Raytheon’s TALON is a 2.75-inch rocket that features a digital semi-active laser guidance system that is being developed with the United Arab Emirates, said John Eagles, a Raytheon spokesman.

“Talon’s architecture and ease of employment make it a low-cost, highly precise weapon for mission in urban environments, counter insurgency and swarming boat defense missions,” Eagles said.

The precision-guided weapon could be offensive or defensive, Linnell and Eagles said.

“There are all sorts of weapons trade studies being done now to address small swarming boats. This would be an option for that. It is rapid fire, laser-guided, accurate and quickly reloadable,” Eagles said.

The weapons are engineered to be lightweight in order to be mounted on small boats or vehicles. The mount, sensor package and missile pod fully loaded weigh about 500 pounds.

Linnell said the TALON-RWS could provide a mobile, light weight precision weapon that might be preferable to the protective weapons used today by most small boats in the Navy.

The sensor is a configurable electro-optical camera which combines with a laser designator and laser rangefinder to locate targets.

The TALON-RWS has been tested at Yuma Proving Grounds, Ariz., where it was fired successfully from a land-based structure, Linnell said. More tests are planned, including one where the TALON-RWS will shoot try to shoot down a UAS, he said.

During the recent Surface Navy Association Annual Symposium, Chief Naval Officer Adm. Jonathan Greenert said the Navy is arming patrol craft with Griffin missiles in an effort to make sure small boats have sufficient armament and protection.

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