Textron Systems announced that it successfully tested its Guided Clean Area Weapon (G-CLAW) precision-guided munition in October 2016.
In its official press release, Textron System states it fired the G-CLAW from a Cessna Caravan. The G-CLAW was used against fixed and moving targets, and had achieved an accuracy of “within 1 metre circular error probable (CEP).”
The G-CLAW is a small and lightweight munition, weighing less than 25 kg with its warhead (which weighs 9 kg). The G-CLAW uses a dual-guidance suite comprising of a GPS-aided inertial navigation system (INS) and a terminal semi-active laser-homing (SALH) seeker. The SALH-seeker is for moving targets.
In addition, the G-CLAW is equipped with a “tri-mode fuze” managing the height of burst, delay and impact of the munition, which opens the G-CLAW for a wide range of targets. Textron Systems markets the G-CLAW for use against infantry/personnel, light armoured vehicles and lightly protected structures.
Notes & Comments:
The G-CLAW joins an expanding cadre of lightweight munitions marketed for a high level of accuracy and low-risk of collateral damage. However, the main draw of these munitions is that they can be deployed from many different platforms, especially small and lightweight aircraft, vehicles and boats.
In contrast to their heavier and longer-range counterparts, the G-CLAW and its contemporaries are mostly aimed for asymmetrical and low-intensity combat environments.
Prospective users might consider using the G-CLAW in counterinsurgency (COIN) operations, especially in built-up environments. If scaled and brought to a low price-point, the G-CLAW could be used against low-value targets, such as machine gun-equipped pick-up trucks or mortar sites. In the maritime environment, navies and law-enforcement agencies could deploy the G-CLAW from boats and unmanned aerial systems.
The G-CLAW will likely compete with the Thales Lightweight Multirole Missile (LMM), which aims to offer similar capabilities for similar mission objectives. Textron Systems is also offering a lighter guided munition – also built with GPS-aided INS and SALH – in the Fury.