The Air Force and Marine Corps have for years envisioned future V-22 weapons to better aid special operators moving into and out of hostile territory aboard the tilt-rotor aircraft.
The list may now include lasers.
“Think traditional rockets and guns,” John “Bones” Parker, Tiltrotor Business Development manager for Boeing Co. and a former Marine aviator, told Military.com on Tuesday. “But [the services] have said, ‘Anything new, we’ll entertain’ — so you can think [lasers] and even … non-lethal-type weapons, like sonic waves or sound waves.”
Parker told reporters during a Boeing media event at the company’s facilities outside Washington, D.C., that officials have tested “forward firing weapons systems mounted [on] the fuselage” such as precision-guided 2.75-inch rockets, and the tube-launched AGM-176 Griffin missile “to demonstrate that the V-22 can fire both in the forward fight … and also 60 degrees.”
“That would include a forward-firing gun, large caliber on the turret, precision-guided munitions out the front, out the back and out the hell-hole,” or in the hatch under the fuselage, he said.
In 2015, the Marine Corps tested a non-explosive version of the Griffin missile on the MV-22. It traveled about 4.5 miles, according to Marine Corps Times. The Air Force flies the CV-22.
The Bell-Boeing-built V-22 has the possibility of such capabilities, but Parker said the configuration differences between the variants are significant. Of the 300 or so V-22s already flying, there are about 75 different configurations per platform.
The goal is to standardize, he said but didn’t elaborate.
Whether lasers could enhance munitions, Parker reiterated, “It’s not a program of record yet, but it is something on the drawing board.”
Read more of this story at Military.com.