Raytheon Awarded $85 Million for Griffin Missiles

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    Photo Below: Defense Update
    Griffin B missile on a test launch

    The U.S. Air Force awarded Raytheon the largest order yet for the Griffin missile,amounting over $85 million. The first delivery order will buy 22 all-up rounds and 43 telemetry rounds, to be delivered by July 2013. Previous orders of the Griffin were destined for the Special Operations Forces were awarded last year (2011) by the Army and U.S. Air Force.


    These orders funded the procurement of 140 Block IIA and 25 telemetry rounds for about $30 million. Raytheon has been contracted annual firm-fixed-price orders for these weapons since 2008.

    Griffin is 43 inches long, weighs 33 pounds and has a 13-pound warhead. Its range is believed to exceed the Hellfire’s 8 km range, reaching up to 12km when fired from high altitude. The Griffin uses loft maneuver and trajectory shaping to maximize range and achieve a steep angle of attack, thus maximizing hit accuracy while minimizing the risk of collateral damage or laser reflection errors.

    The Griffin B on display at AUSA 2010.

    The Griffin missile is in production and has already been integrated on the C-130 Harvest Hawk where it already was fired in anger in Afghanistan. Griffin A is an aft-eject missile designed for employment from non-conventional platforms such as the C-130 aircraft. Griffin B is a forward-firing missile that launches from rotary- and fixed-wing aircraft and ground-launch applications. (Each B model is contained in launch tube weighing 12 pounds. ) One of the platform considered as a carrier is the AT-6, the Griffin has also been fired from the OA-58D/F Kiowa Warrior helicopter. Other launching platforms already believed to be operational are the MQ-9 Reaper and MQ-1 Predator unmanned aircraft systems (UAS); the Navy also planned test firing the missile from an MQ_8B FireScout but that has not been confirmed yet. Surface platforms being tested include the Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) launcher used on some of the US Navy vessels (such as the Littoral Combat Ship – LCS). The Griffin was also launched from simple surface mounted ‘wedge launcher’, to be used for the protection of forward operating base (FOB).

    During a test performed earlier this year the Army tested the Griffin B missile demonstrating how such missiles could be used to secure FOBs and small combat outposts. During the test, warfigthers fired a Griffin missile from a launcher at a static target more than 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) away. Using GPS coordinates generated by a tethered aerostat, the missile directly impacted the target. In another demonstration carried out last year, a Griffin was fired from a land-based RAM launcher at a static target more than 3 kilometers (approximately 2 statute miles) away. The weapon, guided by GPS and laser, scored a direct hit on the target. Both tests achieved all demonstration objectives, Raytheon said.

    “Griffin enables ground forces to protect their locations by precisely engaging targets in a 360-degree radius,” said Harry Schulte, vice president of Raytheon Missile Systems’ Air Warfare Systems product line. “Griffin enables sailors to defend against small, fast-moving surface craft employed by pirates and other non-traditional threats” Schulte added. The Griffin’s user-friendly graphic interface enables the user to guide the weapon to the target using GPS coordinates or laser designation. To maximize effectiveness, the user can choose to engage the target with height of burst, point detonation or fuze delay.

    8 COMMENTS

    1. IMI’s Enchanced WhipShot is doing exactly the very same job, as this Raytheon’s “Griffin”, but – costing less. (Which is, by the way, quite common, regarding the US developed weapons, vis-a-vis the Israeli developed weapons.)

    2. Where do you find per-unit prices for IMI’s Enhanced WhipShot and Griffin? As far as I know, only Griffin has actually been used in combat whereas Enhanced Whipshot exists only in mockup form.

      • “Marauder” — IMI’s WhipShots have been actually used in combat much more, than the Griffin — on board armed IAF’s drones, Elbit’s Hermes-450 and IAI’s Heron-1, taking out their targets over Gaza and over Southern Lebanon.

        • I’d love to see the evidence for your “used in combat much more” claim. The main point is that Griffin, since its inception, has a multi-mode *on-board* guidance system: SAL/GPS/INS vs. the datalink guided Whipshot. Naturally, the former , while being more capable, will also be more expensive than the latter. A fairer comparison would be with the enhanced Whipshot. Still waiting for the per-unit price comparisons…

          • You will of course NEVER see any “evidence” of any of IMI’s laser-guided WhipShots used by the IAF’s armed drones – since this is an “official” IDF policy (why? – I really don’t know!)NOT to confirm, that Israel has, let alone uses, ANY armed UAVs at all – even as plenty of witnesses have of course seen these armed drones in action PLENTY of times. Of course, the IMI’s Enchanced WhipShot, equipped with the INS and GPS navigation systems is more expensive, than the “Basic”, only laser-beam riding WhipShot – but it is a very fair assumption, that even this version is less expensive, than the Griffin – taking into consideration, that basically ANY Israeli developed and produced weapon, equal or comparable to the US-made, is less expensive, than such a US-made weapon – not least because the labour costs (from engeneers to technicians and workers) are by far much lower in Israel, than in the USA. Consider Rafael’s SPIKE ER, contra defferent versions of the Hellfire – both missiles achieve more or less the same results, Spike ER can even make some tricks, which Hellfire cannot – and still, the Spike ER is less expensive per unit, than the Hellfire is.

    3. PS. Regarding this ”official” IDF’s policy of NOT confirming, that the IAF uses in combat, let alone possesses the armed Israeli made drones is very strange to me, since all these IAF’s UAVs are only the TACTICAL weapons. I perfectly well understand the official Israeli policy of ambiguity, regarding IDF’s nuclear weapon arsenal, both regarding the plenty of different, powerful nuclear warheads, and the means to deliver them to targets (Jericho-2 & Jericho-3 medium-range and long-range ballistic missiles, and long-range cruise-missiles on the IN submarines) – because here we are talking about STRATEGIC weapons. But to apply a similar policy to the tactical armed drones? – That is ridiculous!! Because of this policy the IMI must market both the Standard/Basic laser-beam riding WhipShot missiles, as well as the Enhanced (with added INS & GPS) WhipShots as the missiles best suited to equip light aircrafts – because of the Israeli Military Censorship they are not allowed to say, that these missiles are also the PERFECT weapons of choice (as well as battle-proven!!) for the armed UAVs.

    4. Still eagerly awaiting actual (rather than presumed) per-unit prices on Griffin and Whipshot Enhanced. And while the IDF/IAF may not explicitly confirm the combat use of a particular weapon the manufacturers tend to be much less reticent. Besides, it’s not as if Israel doesn’t export these systems to other countries which may have used them.

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