AL TARIQ unveils new warhead for its guided bomb range


AL TARIQ, part of the Edge group, has successfully integrated its guided bomb kit onto a 1 000 lb Mk 83 bomb as the company expands its Al Tariq precision guided munition (PGM) kit range.

The Mk 83 kit was shown during the Dubai Air Show earlier this month following successful trials. The company said the new version (LR-PGM) utilises the same primary components as the Mk 81 and Mk 82 versions, “underlining the unique modularity for cost-effective operations”.

It added that a latest technology GNSS anti-jamming capability has also been integrated and demonstrated “to provide a high degree of mission success against multiple high-powered GPS jammers.”

Theunis Botha, CEO of AL TARIQ said: “Expanding Al Tariq’s payload to 1 000 lb aerial bombs and the latest operational features is part of the munition’s roadmap, which will ultimately make it one of the most versatile and reliable precision weapons in use. The successful trials are extremely encouraging, and we look forward to this new version’s operational qualification and field use in due course.”

The Al Tariq system has also successfully integrated a new Height-of-Burst Sensor (HOBS), with the enhanced weapon having been flight qualified earlier this year. The HOBS enhances the capability of Al Tariq munitions to utilise airburst applications, capable of neutralising strategic infrastructure such as radar installations and convoys, utilising the adjustable height selection.

The company has further integrated a newly developed high-performance 500 lb penetration warhead from a warhead supplier onto its PGMs. This newly-developed penetration warhead is in the final stages of integration, providing the ability to successfully engage hardened targets such as underground bunkers, bridges, or control centres. Flight qualification is due to commence in early 2022.

Al Tariq is a modular family of PGMs designed for the Mk 81, Mk 82, and Mk 83 (250 lb, 500 lb, 1 000 lb) aerial bombs, offering long stand-off ranges exceeding 120 km and multiple seeker options. The system offers a wireless integration option or a digital solution for aircraft requiring either MIL-STD-1760 or DIGIBUS interfacing. The standard Al Tariq kit gives a range of up to 40 km while the Al Tariq-LR version has fold-out wings for a range of 120 km.

The Al Tariq weapon started life as the Denel Dynamics Umbani (Lightning) guided bomb system, which has a terminal accuracy of 3 metres circular error probable (half of the weapons land within that distance of the aim point) using laser target-designation or an imaging infra-red seeker.

The Umbani was first test dropped off a South African Air Force Hawk in 2011 and then became the first product (the Al Tariq) of a joint venture between Denel Dynamics (49%) and Tawazun (51%). Tawazun Dynamics supplied the weapon to the UAE Air Force, where it equips its Mirage 2000s and Hawks. It is believed to have been used in combat in Yemen. More recently, Egypt acquired the Al Tariq for its Mirage 2000 and F-16 Fighting Falcon combat jets.

Tawazun became Barij Dynamics in 2018 and in November 2019, Barij became AL TARIQ when it was consolidated along with 25 other UAE defence entities under the Edge group.