Raytheon UK’s Paveway IV precision-guided bomb has reportedly secured its first export customer as the US congress has granted approval for a deal, according to defencenews.com.
It is understood that the deal had been held up for several years by the refusal of the US State Department to give clearance for US components included in the weapon, this has now changed. Raytheon UK officials briefing reporters in Glenrothes in Scotland confirmed that they had signed their first export customer, but said they were not able to identify the nation involved.
Saudi Arabia however has been previously identified as the first potential export customer by numerous media organisations.
The weapon itself is a guidance kit based on the existing Paveway II added to a modified Mk 82 general-purpose bomb. The Paveway IV entered service with the British Royal Air Force in 2008. the RAF have this to say about the weapon:
“Paveway IV is an advanced and highly accurate weapon that provides the RAF’s strike force with a state-of-the-art precision guided bombing capability. Manufactured by Raytheon Systems Ltd, UK, Paveway IV entered into Service in November 2008. Paveway IV will become the backbone of the RAF’s Air-to Surface bombing capability and it will replace the Paveway II and Enhanced Paveway II weapon systems as well as the 1000lb unguided general purpose bomb. Equipped with the latest Inertial Navigation and Global Positioning System technology and a 500lb warhead, Paveway IV provides a low-cost, all-weather, 24-hour precision bombing capability able to defeat the majority of general-purpose targets.”
According to defencenews.com, Raytheon officials declined to say how much the deal was worth, but the value is believed to be in the region of £150 million (US $247 million), industry sources have said. Raytheon UK is running down production of a British order to replenish Paveway IV stocks run down by operations against Libya in 2011.