MBDA Introduces the SmartGlider Family of Weapons
LE BOURGET, France — MBDA announced in a June 19 release the new SmartGlider family of guided weapons, optimized to counter anti-access strategies and other emerging battlespace threats. Planned to become available for fast jets no later than 2025, SmartGlider forms a family of all-up-round glider weapons, with folding wings and a range of over 100 kilometers.
This new generation of air-to-ground weapons is designed to counter new networked short- and medium-range surface-to-air threats, as well as moving/relocatable targets or hardened fixed targets.
The compact family member, SmartGlider Light, is 2 meters long and weighs 120 kilograms. Twelve to 18 SmartGlider Lights can be carried on an aircraft thanks to a Hexabomb Smart Launcher capable of managing reactive strikes without affecting the pilot’s workload. As such, the SmartGlider Light will allow first-day-entry by saturating and destroying enemy air defenses.
For general purpose missions, the SmartGlider Light can be engaged against a wide spectrum of targets, from hardened and defended fixed targets such as hangars, to relocatable targets that can only be destroyed from a standoff distance with significant lethal effects.
MBDA also prepares a 1,300 kilogram-SmartGlider Heavy able to carry a multipurpose warhead of more than 1,000 kilogram to deal with large and hardened infrastructure.
“The SmartGlider family considerably reinforces the air-to-ground capabilities of the combat platform, sitting between the bombs equipped with guidance kits and cruise missiles,” said François Moussez, MBDA military adviser. “Designed for use in high volumes in order to saturate air defenses, SmartGliders are gliders that, thanks to a high lift-to-drag ratio and their integrated guidance and navigation, will feature a range of over 100 kilometers allowing the combat platform to stay at safe distance from the enemy defenses.”
“Our SmartGliders will integrate new technologies in their guidance and navigation functions, as well as multipurpose warheads,” said Lionel Mazenq, business development manager, France. “Thus, they will be able to reach and destroy the best defended targets, notably enemy air defenses, thanks to a mix of optronics and radio frequency sensors that makes them robust against anti-access measures.”