This advanced and highly accurate weapon is a state-of-the-art precision guided bomb.
Equipped with the latest Global Positioning Guidance technology, Paveway IV is a low-cost, all-weather, 24-hour precision bomb capable of destroying the majority of general purpose targets while significantly minimising collateral damage. Currently carried on Tornado GR4 with clearance work ongoing on Typhoon.
Paveway IV will become the backbone of the RAF’s Air-to-Surface bombing capability and it will replace the Paveway II and Enhanced Paveway II weapon systems as well as the 1000lb unguided general purpose bomb.
Paveway IV significantly increases the RAF’s capability to deliver precision effects matched to the target set. The weapon is cockpit-programmable and allows the aircrew to select weapon impact angle, attack direction and fuzing mode to detonate in airburst, impact or post-impact delay modes. The fuze minimizes collateral damage through the ability to detonate the weapon when buried or partially buried, and is fitted with a ‘Late-Arm’ safety functionality that will not allow an off-course munition to arm. The warhead is also designed to meet the latest requirements of NATO Insensitive Munition safety policy.
The increased accuracy of the system allows for a warhead half the size of the earlier Paveway weapons. The lighter Paveway IV’s provides greater flexibility giving the potential for a single aircraft to carry more weapons and so strike multiple targets in a single pass. The weapon can be reprogrammed with target data by the aircrew while airborne by using data from on-board sensors or from Forward Air Controllers on the ground. Paveway IV also retains the legacy laser guidance capability of its predecessors.
Other improvements over older weapons include less drag, greater accuracy, higher resistance to GPS jamming, better supportability, zero maintenance, lower cost and improved safety signatures. The weapon went straight onto an operational footing after its introduction into service being carried by Harrier GR9 in Afghanistan. It was later integrated onto Tornado GR4 with outstanding success on missions in both Afghanistan and Libya. Integration onto Typhoon F2 is underway and Paveway IV is also a candidate weapon for integration onto Lightning II.
The centre of WWII RAF operations from 1942.