A new version of the Maverick laser-guided missile will come with a software upgrade which will reduce the risk of collateral damage.
The Maverick weapon system, a U.S. Air Force (USAF)-led joint service program, is a forward firing, precision-guided, close air support missile. Maverick is effective against a wide variety of fixed, stationary, moving and maneuvering land and sea targets.
The U.S. Navy has awarded Raytheon Company (RTN) a $49.5 million contract for production of new laser-guided Maverick missiles (AGM-65E2/L). The Navy also intends to exercise a contract option to purchase additional units bringing the total contract value to $54.9 million, a Raytheon statement said.
"The Navy has an operational need for increasing its inventory of this lethal and combat proven weapon," said Capt. Albert Mousseau Jr., U.S. Navy program manager, PMA-242. "Enhanced Laser Maverick enables warfighters to engage today's fast-moving, agile targets."
The new Laser Maverick (AGM-65E2/L) enhancements include a digital laser seeker, new software that reduces the risk of collateral damage and is upgradable based on customer needs, ability to precisely engage land and sea-based high speed moving targets and advanced flight algorithms to boost performance in a variety of operational situations.
"The enhanced Laser Maverick provides the U.S. warfighter with even greater capabilities that will meet today's and tomorrow's threats," said Mike Jarrett, Raytheon Air Warfare Systems vice president. "This is the latest step for this impressive weapon as we continue to work to ensure that future requirements are met."
The enhanced Laser Maverick is a result of a comprehensive USAF and USN Developmental Testing/Operational Testing program that was completed in 2011.
The US has been facing issues of collateral damage in their 'war against terror'. The war in Afghanistan till date has resulted in an approximate 18000 to 20000 Afghan civilians being killed, costsofwar.org website in a May 2014 report stated.