Griffin is Raytheon's INS/GPS based “mini-missile” which can be configured for use on aircraft, ships, or ground launch. The Griffin® missile is a multi-platform, multi-service weapon that has a proven track record for successful rapid integration on land, sea and air platforms. Griffin provides the user flexible employment options through a simple, easy-to-operate, graphic user interface and comes in three different variants. The user can select multiple flight profile and fuzing modes. When combined with the Launcher, the system forms the Griffin Real Time Attack System.
Griffin provides lethal effects and employs GPS-aided inertial guidance and a semi-active laser seeker for pinpoint accuracy. The Griffin missile is 43 inches long, weighs 33 pounds, has a 13-pound warhead, and is in production today. Griffin enables the warfighter to engage targets via a simple user interface and guide the weapon to the target using GPS coordinates exclusively or with laser designation. To maximize lethality, the user can choose to engage the target with direct attack or high impact angle and has the option of using height of burst, point detonation or delayed fuzing.
It is available in four variants: Griffin A is an aft-eject missile, Griffin B is a forward-firing missile, Griffin C has dual-mode guidance and in-flight retargeting, and Griffin C-ER is an extended range missile. The combat-proven Griffin AGM-176A is an aft-eject missile designed for employment from platforms such as the C-130 aircraft. The Griffin BGM-176B is a forward-firing missile that launches from rotary- and fixed-wing aircraft, ground-launch applications and maritime platforms. The MK-60 Griffin Missile System (GMS) is installed aboard Cyclone class ships, Patrol Coastal (PC) combatant. Ten ships are forward deployed, assigned to Commander, Fifth Fleet located in Manama, Bahrain, and installed with the GMS at program completion.
The combat-proven Griffin AGM-176A is an aft-eject missile designed for employment from platforms such as the C-130 aircraft.
- An aft-eject missile from a common launch tube
- Deployed from platforms like the C-130 aircraft
- Measures 43 inches long, weighs 33 pounds and has a low collateral damage 13-pound warhead
- Production began in 2008
The Griffin BGM-176B is a forward-firing missile that launches from rotary- and fixed-wing aircraft, ground-launch applications and maritime platforms. Griffin® can provide an immediate ground launch capability with the Griffin® B Block II Missile and Wedge Launcher Competition is Raytheon’s own Javelin missile, which is already widely deployed.
- A forward-firing missile that uses a composite launch tube
- Launches from rotary-and fixed-wing aircraft, ground-launch applications and maritime platforms
- Operational on the U.S. Navy’s Cyclone-class Patrol Coastal ships
- Measures 43 inches long, weighs 33 pounds and has a low collateral damage 13-pound warhead
- Production began in 2010
Griffin C, adds significantly increased capability to the Griffin B Block II variant that is currently fielded on U.S. Navy Patrol Coastal vessels. Griffin C competes with Lockheed’s Hellfire and MBDA’s Brimstone 2 by adding dual-mode laser/IIR guidance for a fire-and-forget missile. Griffin C capability enhancements include:
- An extended range motor that will triple the range of the current Griffin B
- Data link for in-flight target updates and positive missile control
- Thrust vector control
- Waypoint navigation
- Dual-mode semi-active laser/uncooled imaging infrared seeker (SAL/IIR)
- Angled or vertical launch for 360 degree coverage
- Griffin C missile with extended range motor that nearly triples the flight distance
- Developmental flight testing completed in 2014
The AGM-176 “Griffin” was privately developed by Raytheon, which used components from existing systems like the AIM-9X Sidewinder air-air missile's motor and the Javelin anti-tank missile's guidance. Griffin was started on company funding in 2004, with an initial ground-launch demonstration in 2007. The program built upon Quick Reaction Capability.
The Marine Corps continued the development and fielding of Harvest HAWK, an armed variant of the KC-130J. This effort started in FY08 under an urgent universal need statement requesting rapid development and deployment of persistent direct fire and Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) in support of ground troops. The Harvest HAWK system consists of a Target Sight Sensor (TSS – electro-optic/infrared targeting pod) and AGM-114P Hellfire missiles, integrated into a roll-on, roll-off Fire Control Console (FCC). An additional Standoff Precision Guided Munition (SOPGM), Griffin air-to-ground missile, uses a federated Battle Management System (BMS) for targeting and launch control.
The Navy conducted developmental test and evaluation, consisting of limited scope characterization of the Harvest HAWK ISR capability, terminal laser designation capability, and safety of flight certification for use of both the Hellfire and Griffin precision air-to-ground missile systems. During operational testing and fleet training events over a 48-week period, the Navy and Marine Corps fired 11 Hellfire AGM-114P and 7 Griffin missiles against representative targets on both instrumented and non-instrumented ranges. The Fire Control Operator must manually enter the target coordinates with elevation data acquired on the TSS FCC into the federated BMS laptop computer to engage targets with the Griffin missile system. Even if the coordinates had been accurate, the manual target data entry process caused data entry errors that could result in the Griffin attacking the wrong target during GPS mode of terminal guidance.
Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Research, Development, and Acquisition) approved the integration and deployment of the Griffin Missile onboard PC platforms as part of a rapid deployment capability (RDC) leveraging existing government off-the-shelf (GOTS), commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) and non-developmental items (NDI). The RDC for the GMS was approved in June 2011 and achieved initial operational capability in Oct 2013. PC combatants with GMS installed possess a layered small boat defense capability building upon the point defense provided with the MK 38 Gun Weapon System. The MK-60 GMS consists of the following system components: MK 4 Battle Management System (BMS), MK 208 Griffin Launcher Module, AN/SSQ-133 BRITE Star II EO/IR, LRF and LD sensor and the BGM-176B Griffin B all-up-round (AUR).
By February 2014 Raytheon Company had produced and delivered its 2,000th Griffin Missile. Griffin production began in 2008 as a response to customer requests for a light, reliable, tactical weapon capable of precisely destroying targets with limited collateral damage. The production milestone also highlights 70 consecutive months of on-time or early Griffin deliveries to the warfighter. "The Griffin Missile has proven to be an effective way of doing business for Special Operations forces. The capability has steadily improved, where effectiveness and reliability rule the day," said U.S. Air Force 1st. Lt. Ben Marshall, Stand-off Precision Guided Munitions program manager at Detachment 1, SOCOM. "Delivering 2,000 missiles at a very high reliability is no small feat, and allows our quiet professionals to get the job done."
Raytheon developed Griffin at company expense to provide the warfighter with a quick reaction capability. Demand for the missile continued to increase. The 2000th missile is the Griffin Block III configuration that features a new seeker for improved targeting performance and a multi-effects warhead system that increases the missile's operational effectiveness. Griffin Block III recently completed successful operational test and should be fielded with operational units in the coming months. "The Griffin program remains true to its quick reaction heritage of rapidly developing and delivering affordable missiles that meet the warfighter's needs," said Steve Dickman, Griffin program director. "This milestone highlights the highly collaborative partnership that exists between the company and its multiple service customers."
In February 2014 Raytheon demonstrated its latest variant of the combat-proven Griffin® missile, the Griffin Block III, throughout a series of test shots culminating in several direct hits against a variety of static and moving targets. "The Griffin is already well known for its ability to destroy targets with pin-point accuracy using an advanced GPS and semi-active laser guidance. The Griffin Block III introduces an improved semi-active laser seeker and a new Multi-Effects Warhead System that maximizes the weapon's lethality against a variety of targets," said Mike Jarrett, vice president of Air Warfare Systems with Raytheon Missile Systems. "Block III's enhancements will improve the warfighter's ability to engage a broad set of static and fast-moving targets with assured confidence and greater performance." The Griffin missile's new seeker adds enhanced electronics and signal processing to improve performance in the most challenging scenarios and expands the employment footprint. Production of the Griffin Block III missile was underway and the company expected it to serve as the core weapon for current and future Griffin users.
In March 2014 the U.S. Navy achieved initial operational capability (IOC) on the MK-60 Patrol Coastal Griffin Missile System that includes the Raytheon Company Griffin missile. The milestone came as the Navy continues to conduct littoral security operations in areas that require an immediate and precise response to confirmed threats. The MK-60 Patrol Coastal Griffin Missile System includes a proven laser targeting system, a Navy-designed launcher and battle management system combined with Raytheon's combat-proven Griffin missile.
"The Griffin missile and MK-60 system assure the accuracy and lethality our sailors need to combat growing regional threats," said Captain Mike Ladner, Major Program Manager Surface Ship Weapons, U.S. Navy Integrated Warfare Systems 3.0 program office. "IOC signals the beginning of improved ship self-defense on the Patrol Coastal fleet and provides an immediate response to potential maritime threats, especially small craft on the move."
IOC followed extensive maritime testing that began in March 2012. During that time, the Navy developed, integrated and tested a complete system using mature components combined with Raytheon's Griffin missile. "Griffin is a mature, lightweight precision weapon that delivers reliable operational effectiveness to the warfighter," said Mike Jarrett, vice president of Air Warfare Systems for Raytheon Missile Systems. "The Navy's declaration of IOC with the Griffin Missile System is a significant accomplishment that demonstrates Griffin's flexibility and shows the missile is ideally suited to protect against the small boat threat on a variety of platforms."
On 28 October 2014 Raytheon successfully completed flight tests of its Griffin™ C increased capability missile. The tests at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona highlighted the missile's In-Flight Target Update (IFTU) capability when it was redirected to a new target in mid-flight. IFTU is vital for naval forces facing swarming boat threats that often intermingle with friendly and neutral shipping. "With its extended range motor, Griffin C's increased capability addresses the need for a longer range missile with in-flight retargeting. Because they often operate in a high-traffic, littoral waters, naval warfighters must make split-second decisions to engage or disengage targets," said Dr. Thomas R. Bussing, vice president of Advanced Missile Systems at Raytheon Missile Systems. "By enhancing an already tested and fielded system, we can deliver a missile with significantly improved capabilities at lower costs and risk."
Griffin C, formerly called SeaGriffin™ went three-for-three in flight testing. Raytheon has now completed Griffin C's development phase linking the new dual-mode seeker, data link and IFTU. Raytheon conducted this flight test series to demonstrate the missile's readiness as the Surface Warfare solution for the U.S. Navy's Littoral Combat Ships Surface-to-Surface Missile Module.
On 07 November 2014 Raytheon Company was awarded a not to exceed $85.5 million Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract for Griffin missiles and support. The first increment of the contract was funded at $32.5 million and orders are expected for missiles and engineering services over the life of the contract. Raytheon will deliver Griffin A and B Block II/III missiles as well as test and support equipment under firm-fixed-price contract line item number along with engineering support under a cost-plus-fixed-fee contract line item number. Work would be performed in Tucson, Arizona, and was expected to be completed by Oct. 30, 2017. This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition.
|Range||~ 3.0nm (effective range)|
|Type Fire||Single launch, multiple salvo|
|Guidance System||semi-active lock (SAL)|
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