Tornado GR4 carrying Qty 5 Paveway IV weapons

Paveway IV

Paveway IV is an advanced and highly accurate weapon that provides the RAF’s strike force with a state-of-the-art precision guided bombing capability. Manufactured by Raytheon Systems Ltd, UK, Paveway IV entered into Service in November 2008. 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. Equipped with the latest Inertial Navigation and Global Positioning System technology and a 500lb warhead, Paveway IV provides a low-cost, all-weather, 24-hour precision bombing capability able to defeat the majority of general-purpose targets.

Paveway IV weapon detonating in airburst mode 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.

Paveway IV computer graphic illustration

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 Joint Combat Aircraft.


Tornado GR4 carrying Qty 5 Paveway IV weapons.

Paveway IV weapon detonating in airburst mode.

Computer Graphic Illustration of the weapon.

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