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Last Updated: Monday, 22 December, 2003, 12:21 GMT
Hi-tech missile triggers jobs boost
The Paveway IV
The missile will be carried by Harrier and Tornado jets
A Scottish firm has won a 140m contract to build one of the world's most advanced precision guided bombs.

The Ministry of Defence contract will create up to 50 jobs at the Raytheon Systems plant in Glenrothes and up to 200 at suppliers across the UK.

The new Paveway IV missile will be carried on the RAF's Harrier and Tornado aircraft.

The bomb will give the UK an enhanced ability to conduct 24-hour precision attacks, the MoD said.

Components for the missiles will be manufactured at Thales in Basingstoke, Portsmouth Aviation Technology in Portsmouth and MBM Technologies in Brighton.

Paveway IV will provide them with that capability and I'm delighted that the system will be produced and assembled in Britain
Lord Bach
Defence minister
The Paveway IV is equipped with the latest Global Positioning System technology and is designed to operate in all weather conditions.

It incorporates a sophisticated fail-safe fuse mechanism, which has been engineered to minimise the risk of "collateral damage", the MoD said.

The bomb's advance guidance device will be made by Raytheon Systems Limited (RSL), while the fail-safe fuse mechanism will be built by Thales Missile Electronics at Basingstoke.

The bomb tails and containers will be manufactured by Portsmouth Aviation Limited, said the MoD.

Missile will enter service in 2007, replacing existing dumb and laser-guided bombs
At 500lb, it is half the weight of most bombs
Unlike laser-guided munitions it is designed to be able to "see through" clouds to its target
Will be used on the Harrier GR9, Tornado GR4 and Typhoon aircraft
Its Late-Arm safety device fuse disarms the missile if it veers off course

Defence Minister Lord Bach said: "The award of the precision guided bomb contract is great news for our Armed Forces and British industry.

"Operations in the Gulf and the Balkans have highlighted the pressing need for our Armed Forces to have a precision air attack capability that can be used in any weather.

"Paveway IV will provide them with that capability and I'm delighted that the system will be produced and assembled in Britain."

The much larger 2,000lb Paveway III series will remain in service because of its use in targeting tough or below-ground targets.

Welcoming the deal, RSL managing director Jack Cronin said: "Paveway IV will provide the RAF with a weapon of great accuracy and considerable mission flexibility."

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