J.R. Smith, business development manager of Raytheon Missile Systems, said that this summer the company expects to conduct a live warhead demonstration. “It's going to be really fun! We’re just tweaking the software and running some environmental tests,” he explained.
The TWTM is 22 inches long, 3.6 inches in diameter and weighs 13.5 pounds, and could be used on a UAS with a payload as low as 50 to 60 pounds. According to Smith, it also has value for use on larger UAS that would be more operationally flexible if they carried a larger number of weapons. For instance, the Predator would be able to carry 12 TWTMs, compared with just two of the larger Hellfire missiles. “This would have helped [in the NATO campaign] over Libya. We could have killed a whole lot more people far more efficiently with the TWTM versus larger munitions,” he commented.
|Raytheon's TWTM on a test run|
Smith explained that there are both practical and philosophical reasons for "going small" as he put it. "We have some amazing project managers. One of them, who is passionate about E.F. Shumacker's economic concept (articulated in his book Small is Beautiful) took the idea of 'sensible scale' to the next level. His out-of-the box thinking helped create a product that will reap huge financial rewards for Raytheon."
When asked about the name of the newly developed small tactical munition, Smith said "Well, you know engineers. They were just having a little fun. In fact, in the initial test of the TWTM they fired it at a rival product group's drone mock-up. You should have seen them scramble when they saw that thing coming. What a great sense of humor!"
The day of the Pentagon's announcement to initially procure 10,000 of the TWTMs sent Raytheon's stock to a new high of 56.80.
Editor's Note: Thanks to AIN Online for material taken from the following article, http://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/2012-07-08/raytheons-purpose-built-uas-bomb-ready-live-tests for this fake news piece. Raytheon really is building a new missile called the Small Tactical Munition (STM).