David Oliver – Rafael Advanced Defense Systems unveiled at Aero India its new ‘Rocks’ air-to-surface (ASM) standoff missile.
The company stated that the weapon can be equipped with either a penetration or blast fragmentation warhead, and that the missile can destroy above ground or underground targets in heavily surface-to-air-defended areas.
Powered by a single-stage solid rocket motor developed by Rafael, the ASM has a GPS/inertial navigation system (INS) guidance for midcourse navigation, and an electro-optical (EO)/imaging infrared (IR) seeker assembly for terminal homing.
For precision accuracy, the EO/IR assembly exploits the Rafael-developed Automatic Target Acquisition algorithm with scene-matching technology to overcome GPS jamming, navigation, and target location errors in the threat environment. On approach to the target, the ASM scene-matching algorithm compares the EO image received in real time via the weapon seeker with mission reference data stored in the weapon’s computer memory.
Rafael has described the development status of the missile as Technical Readiness Level (TRL) 8. The company said that full-scale development and testing had been completed and the missile has been certified on an Israel Air Force F-16I multirole combat aircraft testbed, including air carriage, launch, and homing trials. Typically, the F-16I can deliver a total of four Rocks missiles.
Yuval Miller, executive vice-president and general manager of Rafael’s Air & C4ISR Systems Division said that “using technologies inherited from our latest generation SPICE system, Rocks effectively answers a growing demand for long range, GPS-independent air-to-ground precision strike capability.” Miller added that Rafael is well-situated in India with a broad industrial base, joint-ventures, indigenous companies and a substantial Indian supply-chain, as part of the commitment to the ‘Make in India’ initiative.
by David Oliver