BAE unveils low-cost, high-volume precision guided missile kits
Along with its new X-winged VTOL military drone, BAE Systems has announced a new "Razer" system designed to take standard non-guided munitions and convert them into precision guided missiles, at low cost, and delivered through local manufacturing.
The current conflict in Ukraine has taught military strategists many lessons. One of these, according to the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, is that modern conflicts will burn through munitions at a startling rate; victory may well be determined by whose supply lines can sustain the delivery of pain and misery for the longest.
For an isolated island nation like Australia, this is serious business. Since 2021, there has been a push to develop "sovereign munitions" – guided weapons that can be designed, developed and manufactured entirely in Australia, without relying on overseas supply chains. All the better if they're cheap enough to roll out at high volume and shoot them without worrying about breaking the bank.
At today's Avalon Air Show, BAE Systems unveiled its entry into the field. The Razer is effectively a low-cost upgrade kit for "dumb" missiles, capable of transforming a 40-50-kg (88-110-lb) non-guided munition into a precision, air-launched weapon. As such, it adds a wing kit and tail unit with control surfaces, a powered GPS/INS guidance system, and a navigation system. The Razer is designed as a system that can mount to unmanned aircraft like the Strix X-wing tailsitter, or manned helicopters, giving them an extended-range strike and stand-off capability.
“RAZER can meet urgent local and overseas demand for low cost sovereign munition solutions that could be deployed from the air," said BAE Systems Australia CEO Ben Hudson in a press release. "It could deliver a powerful and affordable battlefield strike capability for users globally.”
Source: BAE Systems Australia