Marking a key milestone in military technology, experts at the Oklahoma Training Center for Unmanned Systems (OTC-US℠) facilitated a successful demonstration of newly designed precision-guided mortar rounds, dropped from one of the center’s small unmanned aerial vehicles onto a target almost 1.5 miles below.
The series of three test engagements was conducted high above a Fort Sill range by General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems and the U.S. Army Armament Research and Development Engineering Center (ARDEC). Launched from a Tiger Shark UAV at an altitude of about 7,000 feet, 81mm mortar rounds were fitted with General Dynamic’s “Roll Control Fixed Canard” system and featured an ARDEC-designed fusing solution. The mortar rounds were guided by a GPS system to hit within a 23-foot target grid.
In a company announcement, General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems Seattle general manager Mark Schneider said: “This effort demonstrated a low-cost, tactical version of a GPS strike weapon for UAV platforms. Together with ARDEC, we have demonstrated a weapon in the 10-pound class for tactical UAVs that can be used to quickly engage and defeat targets. Advancements in GPS targeting and data-link technology provide a built-in growth path for this demonstrated technology.”
Located just outside of Fort Sill, the Oklahoma Training Center for Unmanned Systems offers direct access to more than 200 square miles of restricted airspace, with capabilities to meet the UAS needs of warfighters, first responders and law enforcement. OTC-US℠ was recently selected by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to evaluate and test next-generation systems for use by rescue teams and other rapid responders.
OTC-US is a unit of University Multispectral Laboratories (UML), a nationally recognized “trusted agent” scientific institution supporting C5ISR, CBRNE, cyber, UAS, energy and related missions for a number of government agencies, security organizations and military commands. Based in Ponca City, UML is owned by the state via Oklahoma State University and independently operated through an exclusive partnership with Triton Scientific, LLC and Atria Defense Group, LLC.