Raytheon’s Small Tactical Munition struck its designated target on its initial test drop recently at Yuma Proving Ground, Ariz., announced the company. Released from a Cobra remotely piloted aircraft, the 13.5-pound bomb successfully guided itself to the target using its semi-active laser and GPS-guidance-aided inertial navigation system, according to the company. This newest configuration of the mini weapon, STM phase II, “is ideally suited to weaponize Shadow-class unmanned aircraft systems and counterinsurgency aircraft,” said Thomas Bussing, Raytheon’s missile and RPA vice president. “STM gives warfighters flexibility because it enables them to engage moving and static targets with minimal collateral damage,” he added. Incorporating folding fins and winglets, two of the 22-inch weapons fit inside the US military’s common aerial launch tube, according to the company. Raytheon began captive flight testing of STM phase II late last year.
Unlike nearly every other innovative technology throughout history, Maj. Gen. DeAnna M. Burt believes the space enterprise emerged backward. “Every other domain started with an entrepreneur who built something,” Burt, the special assistant to the Chief of Space Operations, told an audience at AFA’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference.