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Lockheed Martin to roll out enhanced laser-guided bombs

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SINGAPORE (AFP): US defence giant Lockheed Martin said that it will roll out by the middle of the year an improved laser-guided bomb that can strike targets with more accuracy and less collateral damage.

Joe Garland, vice president for international business development at Lockheed Martin, said on Tuesday that final tests on the weapon called the Paveway II Plus laser guided bomb should be completed by the end of March.

Garland told a news briefing on the sidelines of the Singapore Airshow that the missile will benefit from an enhanced guidance system.

"It will be our basic configuration, (there) will be a slight software and hardware upgrade to the system," he said, adding that customers would not have to pay additional costs for the upgraded weapon.

The US government buys 80 per cent of Lockheed's laser-guided bombs, said Garland.

International customers are also expected to upgrade their arsenals with the bomb, he said.

"Today there are a number of international clients that use laser-guided bombs and we anticipate that same group of international clients to use the Paveway II Plus model," Garland said.

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