First missile launched from V-22 during tests by Raytheon, Bell Helicopter

TUCSON, Ariz. Raytheon and Bell Helicopter personnel completed the first two launches of the Griffin B missile from a Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey aircraft at Yuma Proving Ground, Ariz.

"This is the first time a forward-firing missile has been launched from the V-22," says Mike Jarrett, vice president of Raytheon's Air Warfare Systems. Raytheon and Bell's Xworx funded the effort, which has a goal to simply integrate and operate, low-cost, precision strike missile, which is showing interest from the the U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command, Raytheon officials say.

Bell flight test crew personnel launched two Griffin B missiles with each scoring direct hits from both hover mode and during conversion mode at 110 knots. The missile's off-axis launch capability enables precise striking of targets to the left or right of the aircraft flight path.

The Griffin A (AGM-176A) is an aft-eject missile produced for employment from platforms such as the C-130 aircraft. The Griffin B (BGM-176B) is a forward-firing missile that can launch from rotary- and fixed-wing aircraft, ground-launch applications, and maritime platforms. The missile is 43 inches long, weighs 33 pounds, has a 13-pound warhead, and is in production today. Grif