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Britain to buy laser-guided bombs

United Kingdom,Defence/Security, Tue, 03 Apr 2012 IANS

London, April 3 (IANS) Britain has signed a contract to buy laser-guided bombs worth 60 million pounds ($95.8 million), the defence ministry said Tuesday.


The contract is for the Paveway IV, which is one of the most advanced precision bombs in the world and is considered the backbone of the Royal Air Force (RAF).


It is fitted with Global Positioning System (GPS) technology and laser guidance systems which allow it to reach target without being affected by clouds or smoke screens, giving Britain the capability to conduct 24-hour attacks against a wide range of targets.


The weapon also has a Britain-developed fail-safe fuse mechanism, which means that the bomb will only be detonated once it has reached its intended target, Xinhua reported.


Paveway IV was used during the 2011 air campaign over Libya and is also currently used in Afghanistan on Tornado jets.


The contract has been awarded to Raytheon UK and will sustain some 450 jobs in advanced weapons manufacturing at its plants in Glenrothes, Scotland and Harlow, Essex.


Paveway IV was first introduced to operations in Afghanistan in 2008 and plans are in hand to fit it to the RAF's Typhoon combat aircraft in 2013.



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