Small insurgent groups have long used speed and distance to try and outrun American precision-guided weapons launched from loitering drones and attack aircraft. But a new weapon being employed by U.S. special operators is trying to erase that tactic from their playbook.
A lightweight glide missile, smaller and more powerful than a Hellfire and fired from a C-130 gunship tens of thousands of feet above the battlefield, is about to start heading to the force by the thousands, according to SOCOM documents about an upcoming contract award.
SOCOM purchased several dozen Small Glide Munitions from Dynetics, a small firm in Huntsville in 2017. The SGM appears to have proven its value to commando leaders who are readying a contract for about 4,000 more of the 59-lb munition over the next four years.
The SGM can travel more than 20 miles and slam into targets moving up to 70 mph with its 36-lb. warhead, which is not only more powerful than a Hellfire, but clocks in at almost half the weight of the iconic 100-lb. munition.