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Air Force Mulls Restarting Production Of Raytheon Maverick

By | August 20, 2007

      The Air Force is considering restarting production of the laser-guided Maverick missile, Raytheon Co. [RTN] announced.

      That springs from an urgent operational need for a close air support weapon to defeat high-speed moving targets with minimal collateral damage.

      The AGM-65E Maverick missile is an air-to-ground weapon.

      Air Force personnel currently operate television- and infrared-guided versions of Maverick.

      Until now, only the Navy and Marine Corps have employed the laser-guided version.

      That laser-guided weapon has a combat-proven record of effectiveness and reliability against armored and moving surface targets in scenarios involving urban environments and during close air support missions.

      “To get that capability on Air Force aircraft in short order, the Navy has agreed to transfer some of its inventory of laser-guided Mavericks to the Air Force,” said Harry Schulte, Raytheon Missile Systems vice president of the Strike product line.

      Maverick is a precision air-to-ground missile with multiple warhead and seeker variants used against moving or stationary small or hard targets; armored vehicles; surface-to- air missile sites; and high-value targets such as ships, port facilities and communications centers.

      The missile has launch-and-leave capability that enables a pilot to fire it and immediately take evasive action or attack another target as the missile guides to the target.

      Maverick is the most widely used precision-guided missile in the world, according to Raytheon.

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