Griffin Small Guided Munition


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9 July 2007
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Raytheon has been given a small ($10 million) contract to build a privately-developed air-to-surface missile for launch from UAVs called Griffin Small Guided Munition. It appears to be based around a Javelin powerplant, but with a new semi-active laser seeker and a new blast warhead. So far, no pictures of it in service, but it's apparently used on the MQ-9 Reaper and it was funded by Special Operations Command. The US Marine Corps is considering using it on their KC-130J Harvest Hawk gunship.

The US Army is also planning to test it for its new APMP light aviation missile requirement for the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior. Apparently one of the other contenders is another little known weapon, the Sharpshooter from Textron. Most of the other competitors are expected to be SAL guided 2.75 inch rockets.
As I first said, no pictures of it "IN SERVICE". Nor any real photos. I've already seen the cross-sectional drawing (same as on along with a CAD-CAM drawing of it which are available on some Army Websites.
See the below image from Japan Security Watch.

Original caption: Pod of 10 Griffin missiles, part of the Harvest HAWK kit. Marine Corps photo.


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Grey Havoc said:
See the below image from Japan Security Watch.

Original caption: Pod of 10 Griffin missiles, part of the Harvest HAWK kit. Marine Corps photo.

Are they going to be fired from there or just carried there on the tailgate of the KC-130?
Kadija_Man said:
Are they going to be fired from there or just carried there on the tailgate of the KC-130?

Fired from there I believe; the KC-130J is meant to be armed with 10 of them, so in lack of a significant number of launch rails or a split version of that pod, they might as well be fired from there. There are obviously things that make it seem like a bad idea (launch gases, re-vectoring after launch, etc), but I'm sure with the scale of the Griffin it shouldn't be too much of an issue.
Griffin comes in two versions: B is a conventional forward-fired missile, but A is designed to drop tail first from its launch tube and then ignite the rocket motor once it's clear of the launch aircraft, That's the version found in this "Gunslinger" kit installed in Harvest HAWK and the USAF MC-130W Dragon Spear. (Some early reports say Griffin A is unpowered, but I think that's wrong.)


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Are they going to be fired from there or just carried there on the tailgate of the KC-130?

In February 2012, the US Marine Corps received the first KC-130J Harvest HAWK armed tanker with a modified paratroop door that allows the crew to launch standoff precision-guided weapons while the aircraft remains pressurized. The new door, called the Derringer Door, eliminates the need for the crew to depressurize the aircraft and lower the cargo ramp prior to firing AGM-175 Griffin air-to-surface missiles. Currently deployed Harvest HAWK-equipped KC-130Js use a cargo ramp-mounted launch-tube system. The Derringer door and storage rack do not interfere with KC-130J cargo handling. Harvest HAWK (Hercules Airborne Weapons Kit) is a modular roll-on, roll-off weapons system that includes a fire-control console; an AN/AAQ-30 target sight; a quad-mount AGM-119 Hellfire missile launcher; and the Derringer Door.

Source and picture:
There is indeed an unpowered version. Can't remember the name. From the drawings i saw, it looked exactly like the rocket powered one minus the aft section (which would make sense). It might have had relocated tail fins. More on this when i have access to my files on Monday.
If I'm reading this report from Danger Room correctly, ten USN 'close-action patrol boats' are to be fitted with a navalised version of the Griffin.
The patrol boats in question are the Cyclone class. I've never seen the term close action patrol boat used before, it would seem to be an invention of Danger Room since every single Google hit goes back to that article.
Griffin demonstrates capability against small attack craft

PARIS, June 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Navy proved the ability of Raytheon Company's (NYSE: RTN) Griffin® B missile to engage rapidly moving small boats during a recent live-fire demonstration.

"This demonstration shows the Griffin missile's effectiveness in engaging the type of small, fast-moving boats used by swarming threats and pirates," said Harry Schulte, vice president of Raytheon Missile Systems' Air Warfare Systems product line. "Griffin is fully developed, in production, lightweight, precise, and can be easily integrated on a wide variety of vessels, making it an excellent weapon for near-term threats."

During the demonstration, which took place late in the first quarter of 2012, three Griffins were fired from a sea-based launcher at three separate speeding-boat targets more than 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) away. The weapons were guided by laser, and scored direct hits on the target, achieving all demonstration objectives.

About the Griffin
The Griffin missile is in production and integrated on the C-130 Harvest Hawk. The combat-proven Griffin A is an aft-eject missile designed for employment from non-conventional platforms such as the C-130 aircraft. Griffin B is a forward-firing missile that launches from rotary- and fixed-wing aircraft and ground-launch applications.

The Griffin enables the warfighter to engage targets via a user interface and guide the weapon to the target using GPS coordinates or laser designation. To maximize lethality, the user can choose to engage the target with height of burst, point detonation or fuze delay.

* Griffin is 43 inches long, weighs 33 pounds and has a 13-pound warhead.
* Griffin has been fired from C-130 platforms and, most recently, from a modified RAM launcher.
* Griffin has a proven track record of successful rapid integration.

And some photos here of Griffin installations on Cyclone class ships.
Video and screencaps of Griffin ER. Notable changes: longer motor (increased range) and dual mode seeker (laser and IIR).

Air Force Foreshadows $450M Contract With Raytheon For 5,000 Griffin Missiles

Just months after placing an $85 million order with Raytheon for Griffin missiles, the Air Force intends to award the company another contract worth up to $450 million for 5,000 missiles plus associated equipment and support services. According to a Jan. 8 presolicitation notice on the Federal Business Opportunities website, the service expects to issue the five-year indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract to Raytheon in May.
Griffin C-ER missile at Surface Navy 2015 conference. Seen here with a 155mm Excalibur projectile.

Photo source here:


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Creative said:
Griffin C-ER missile at Surface Navy 2015 conference. Seen here with a 155mm Excalibur projectile.

Photo source here:

Great find as usual but I think the Excalibur projectile there is the 127mm Naval Excalibur projectile.



GLB-4 Griffin® B Block II Launcher


Lower the laser code

- Faster the update rate

Recommended laser codes, not recommended

- 11xx
- anything above 1721

Low reflectivity targets

- Spot next to low reflective targets then slew over target at end

Contact/PD fuzing

- fuze must detect 75 g deceleration w/n 1 ms
- provides least collateral damage
- MEWS and Block 3 minimize the collateral damage

Airburst/HOB fuzing

- HOB sensor detects at 2 to 7 feet above the ground
- Continuous wave signal approx 10 sec before ground collision


- High impact angle, > or equal to 65 degrees
- SAL powered 1 sec after rocket motor launch
- SAL ignores target reports until target is less than 2000m away
- BMS launch footprint CEP of 3 meters
- Do not use if mover is 15 mph+


- low impact angle
- CEP of 2 meters
- USed for MTK (moving target kills)

Collateral Damage Considerations

- For MTK's consider having non lasing sensor 1 KM ahead of mover to assess possible CD

Weapons effect considerations for LIA

- aim short in the open to help spread effects

Weapons effect considerations for HIA

- works best for personnel in the open and at impact angles > 65 degrees

Initialization time

- 20 to 45 seconds, timeout after 90

Pressing fire to missile ejection

- 5 to 7 seconds, max of 9

Time of Fall

- 15-60 seconds

How many Griffins can be rippled and ripple time

- 3 across stack
- 5 to 25 seconds. use lower ripple time for lower altitudes

Minimum employment altitude

- 6500 AGL

15 MPH or greater

- do not use HIA

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Initialization Mode

- takes 20-45 seconds and transfers primary mission data to missile
- Coordinate updates only done once in Live mode
- Nav convergence done within 90 seconds
- GPS IMU alignment and target data sent to missile
- reports ready to BMS after this is all done

Missile Ready Mode

- Once good navigational/ GPS data received
- MEWS and Block 3 have last pulse logic algorithm

Fire Mode

- takes 4-8 seconds
- Consent and Armed switches must be activated. All consents on before armed switches
- Arms CLT not weapon
- Takes 5-7 (max 9) to fire weapon
- Pulls solenoid pin for up to 9 seconds

Safe Separation Mode

- ejection of weapon from CLT occurs
- fins come out after 500 ms
- missile rolls to put GPS on top of missile
- missile wont climb until below 1000ft below launch altitude

Capture Mode

- takes 3 to 5 seconds
- fin movement to stabilize movement

GPS Terminal Mode

- takes 3 to 5 seconds
- takes most direct path to GPS/IMU data coords
- Rocket fire after 5 seconds (EAFD timer expired)
- SAL seeker activates 6 seconds after munition ejected
- If no laser info weapon goes to GPS targets

SAL Terminal mode

- Takes approx 6 seconds
- If sees correct laser code will go to it
- normally 10-20 seconds after eject
- TSE updates flight path whole way through

- semi active laser
- provides terminal guidance (last 10 seconds of flight)
- loss of laser energy will result in missile impacting last predicted intercept point
- Laser code must match what is in system and missile


- Target state estimator
- measures azimuth and elevation from the SAL to determine final target location in three dimensions


- 3.2 lbs of explosive
- 9400+ pieces of fragmentation
- area lethality of 25 ft

GPS antenna/receiver

- Used for precise hits


- provides and angular and velocity information
- 3 gyroscopes and 3 accelerometers


- Launched .5 seconds after launch

Guidances logic prevents....

- missile climb until below 1000ft below aircraft launch altitude

Rocket motor ignition...

- about 5 seconds after launch
- 180 lbs of thrust over 4.5 seconds


- electronic arm fire device which fires rocket motor and arms warhead


- 28 V DC battery sustaining 2 min TOF
- Do not attempt to handle for 45 min after a suspected launch


- control actuation system
- 4 fins and thrust vector control vanes
- fin is 4.6 inches

- stack control module
- 2 stack control modules that provide command and control signals for up to 10 munitions
- controls the initialization of the corresponding stack of 5 PGMS


- Logic and Power control module
- Conditions and distributes power to the BMS
- Located above launch portals
- BMS safety switches and WOW/ramp interlock voltage route into LPCM


- switch interface unit
- reads statuses of hardware safety switches


- provides data required for munition initialization which includes GPS/INS position data and 1 pulse per second signal
- Sends GPS time mark, position data to ACE server

GPS antenna

- provides GPS signal and data to Griffons and both ATACNAVS


- power distribution unit
- provides power for circuit breakers for LPCM, WOW override switch, key-loading terminals and two Mission Interference Units
- located between CLT portals
- 28V DC battery
- Separate PDU for GBUs to give power to BRU's


- common launch tube
- holds Griffons
- Safety solenoid pin to keep munition in tube
- 1-1 and 2-1 can be fired in pressurized conditions
- can ripple 3 griffons across stack


- ccode miniature integrated GPS/INS tactical system
- provides attitude and navigation data to BMS-2 and each ATACNAV
- 3D position, velocity, time, heading, angular rate and acceleration
- references DTED information
- Must put in proper INS TH to properly align aircraft
- Takes 2 minutes to align

Describe griffin engagement management system.
BMS. Based on target to griffin assignment. Up to 3 targets assigned 1 per griffin. Must meet specific conditions before firing, contact or airburst settings. PRF must match the same one designating.

How many pre-formed fragments does the MEWS (Multi-Effects Warhead System) warhead produce?

-HIA >65 SAL seeker terminal Guidance within 6500' and 6 consecutive target reports within LFOV

The proximity fuze begins transmitting a Continuous Wave FM signal at __ sec prior to projected impact

This parameter only affects the size of the Circular Error Probability (CEP)-50 and CEP-90 bounds of the Griffin moving target footprint that is generated via the Griffin's DLL (see Section 15.3.3). Static footprints are unaffected. This setting only provides further release guidance and has no effect on the actual munition.

Once transition is made to SAL Mode, guidance will not transition back to GPS target location - Starts calculating target location using Target State Estimator (TSE) • Guidance Kalman Filter used to estimate location (x,y,z) and velocity (vx,vy,vz) of target position • If the target is not moving, velocity terms will approach 0 • If SAL data is lost, will guide to last calculated TSE location

Describe the safe separation for the AGM-176 and GBU-39

GBU-39/B will be released from the wing in the following order: outer aft, outer forward, inner aft, inner forward. The weapon will fall 2,000ft flip over. If rippled will establish safe separation from other weapons via 60' spacing and 100' from the aircraft. Once the weapon acquires GPS the weapon is considered ready for high order detonation.
AGM-176 is ejected backwards from the aircraft sensing a 5g ejection force. The weapon will fall 1,000ft and deploy its fins to aim roughly towards the target. It will begin to acquire GPS and fire the rocket motor. After the rocket motor finishes its boost the ESAF is armed and the weapon will go high order.

What is the difference between HIA and LIA for the AGM-176?
LIA: is the default condidtion for the AGM-176. It computes the most direct path to the target. It increases maneuverability and decreases the CEP of the weapon because the seeker head opens immediately after the rocket motor fires.
HIA: maintains a flat, high flight path to the target coordinates provided at launch. It guarantees a 65deg impact angle at the target. The CEP of the weapon decreases because the seeker head does not provide guidance until the last 6000'

What are the field of view (FoV) and field of regard (FoR) for the AGM-176? What is the difference between the two?
FoV +/- 15deg and FoR +/- 30deg. FoR is the maximum viewing angle for the SAL. At this range it can determine that laser energy is coming in from this direction .It cannot, however, do anything other than turn the missile towards that energy return. The TSE cannot engage or provide flight guidance when the reflected energy is in the FoR region. The FoV is the heart of the SAL. Here the SAL is fully functional and the TSE will engage for additional flight guidance. The SAL will also take over primary guidance from GPS.

What are the run down times for the batteries in a Griffin or SDB?
The SDB has a run down time of 3 hours and the Griffin has a run down time of 45 minutes. During this time weapons? cannot manipulate the weapon because it is considered to be a live weapon with valid coordinates. This time limit is based on the time it takes the chemical reaction to stop producing enough thermal heat to power the weapon.

Describe warnings, cautions, and notes associated with the AGM-176.


-Do not attempt to handle the missile (AUR) for at least 45mins if the battery has or is suspected to have fired.
-Employment without SAASM keys will likely result in the missile missing the intended target if using a GPS/INS terminal guidance attack. Employment using the SAL for terminal guidance, without SAASM keys, is acceptable but not recommended.
-The Griffin A-1/A-2 SAL does not contain a pulse logic algorithm. It is possible for the missile to track a ground based laser designator. Use of a ground-based laser designator should be carefully planned and coordinated.
-Both the BLACK update key (103040) and BLACK monthly key (101040) should be loaded each time the missile is keyed. The update key is required to decrypt the monthly key and must be loaded first.
-The missile must have a PRF laser code for launch and the SAL seeker is active during flight even if the operator intends the missile to be GPS/INS terminal guidance. Therefore the missile does not have a true GPS/INS only guidance mode, and the missile will guide to a laser spot with a valid PRF laser code even if not intended by the aircrew
-If key loading is attempted more than three times using a non-compatible data protocol the GPS will protect itself from suspected tampering and zeroize. The missile is unusable for employment and must be sent back to depot.
-If the BIT failure happens on the IMU, it is recommended to attempt up to five power cycles to see if the BIT will clear. Early Block (AGM-176A) missile showed an intermittent IMU power up issue which can be cleared by a cycling power.

Describe PGM safety features.

-Griffin guidance logic prevents any steering input that would require the missile to climb until the missile is 1000ft below aircraft launch altitude.
-Electronic Safe Arm Fire (ESAF) decides whether or not to arm the warhead. ESAF must sense ejection from the launch tube, umbilical disconnect, fins to an extended and locked position, and rocket motor acceleration
-Rocket motor ignition occurs approximately 5 secs after ejection.
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U.S. Marines assigned to Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 252 (VMGR-252) fire AGM-114 Hellfire missiles and AGM-176 Griffin missiles from a KC-130J Harvest Hawk plane near Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California on August 31, 2022. U.S. Marines acquire targets with the AN/AAQ-30 target sight system in a KC-130J Harvest Hawk. Film Credits: U.S. Marine Corps Video by Lance Cpl. Christian Cortez, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing.
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I don't understand why they have mixed the sequences where the cargo operator is handling tube launched munitions with that of the missiles launches from the wing station.
I bet the Ukrainians would love to get the AGM-176 for their Bayraktar drones.
In February 2012, the fleet received its first Harvest HAWK modified with a pressurized, standoff precision precision-guided munitions launcher called the Derringer door.

The modified KC-130J paratroop door provides the capability to load, launch and reload standoff precision-guided munitions while the aircraft remains pressurized.

Changes to the aircraft for the Derringer door modification included the installation of two vertically oriented, standoff precision-guided munitions tubes, a common launch-tube storage rack for 10 standoff precision-guided munitions and battle-management system upgrades.

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