Successful Two-Phase Bunker Buster Unveiled:

The Raytheon Company successfully demonstrated a new two-phase bunker busting weapon in the New Mexico desert three weeks ago, company officials announced Friday at AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando. They cited its possible use on cruise missiles or as part of another robust penetrator. In a static test on a 300-ton target, the Tandem Warhead System managed to penetrate 19.5 feet of the target, said Harry Schulte, Raytheon’s VP for strike products. Unlike weapons, such as massive earth penetrators that rely on kinetics largely to burrow into concrete and hardened surfaces, the tandem warhead system couples a precursor charge (500 pounds of high explosive in the recent test) with a narrow follow-on warhead that speeds through the initial blast to hit inside a hard target. A standard precursor charge would be around 650 pounds. with a 500-pound follow-on warhead, said Douglas Hayner, a senior manager in Raytheon’s strike product shop. Both warheads would be contained in the same cruise missile, effectively blasting a hole into the target and allowing other weapons to hit the target once it’s penetrated. Raytheon is in talks with both the Navy and Air Force on possible fielding of the scaleable weapon. Schulte said the company is closer to partnering with a Navy concept demonstration called the Multiple Effect Warhead System on a Tomahawk and has spoken to the Air Force about hosting the weapon on some de-milled Advanced Cruise Missiles (currently being stripped of their nuclear warheads and retired). Given the green light, the weapon could be on the shelf in 24 to 30 months, said the Raytheon officials.