Dubai 2011: Paveway WiPak-ing a punch by WiFi
Raytheon has completed the development and testing of a new 'WiPak' method of wirelessly integrating its Paveway family of laser-guided and dual-mode (laser/GPS) bombs.
By using a wireless integration to get information both to and from the weapon, bombs can be integrated on older, legacy aircraft which may lack MIL STD 1553B and 1760 digital databuses, and not have ‘drilling holes’ for new wiring.
The system has already been integrated on Embraer Super Tucano aircraft from an undisclosed customer, and the company is looking at integrating the system on the IAI Kfir and Dassault Mirage (presumably for Colombia and Ecuador, who operate both types), though this is not yet under contract.
The system would also represent a quick and easy capability enhancement for early-model F-16s and F/A-18s.
So far only the Paveway II/Enhanced Paveway II has been integrated with WiPak, but there is no reason why the newer and more advanced Paveway IV could not also be integrated.
The system could also offer a route to quicker and cheaper weapons integrations on more modern aircraft. “Had it been available when we integrated Enhanced Paveway on the RAF’s Typhoon, we’d have offered WiPak as an option,” said Zack May, Raytheon’s director of business development for air warfare systems.