Diehl Defence has tested a new Laser Guided Sidewinder (LaGS) meant for air to ground targets in Sweden in mid April. The laser-guided missiles were fired from a Saab Gripen JAS 39 hit both stationary ground targets and two moving targets. The moving targets included a target board measuring 2 by 3 meters pulled on a trailer and a SUV. The targets were destroyed in direct hits.
This is the second verification firing of LaGS on the Northern Scandinavian test range in Vidsel. The tests were carried out by the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) in cooperation with the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration or the FMV.
Since the early 1960s, Diehl Defence has produced different variants of the American Sidewinder, which is an air to air missile, in relatively large quantities for the European NATO partners and still offers refurbishment and modernization.
In 2016, Diehl Defence received a development contract for the reconstruction of AIM-9L Sidewinders to a “motor driven short-range effector” in order to be able to engage targets on the ground instead of targets in the air. Diehl modernised the missile’s guidance and control section. The infrared detector and signal processing unit of the seeker were replaced by a SAL (Semi Active Laser) sensor with modern digital signal processing.
Sidewinder is a proven, but aging weapon system and is being replaced by modern air to air missiles. Diehl’s modification gives a new lease of life to the missile, at relatively low costs and expanding its the mission spectrum. Diehl Defence now hopes to receive the envisaged purchase contract.