PARIS—France’s Safran and Germany’s Diehl have agreed to work together to develop a small, lightweight tactical air-to-ground weapon: the Hussar.                                                                       

The accord was announced at the Paris Air Show, being held here June 17-23.

Diehl, best known for the development of the IRIS-T short-range, air-to-air missile, says the Hussar will benefit from recent operational experiences. These have often called for smaller, lower-cost weapons that can successfully strike small, fleeting targets with minimal collateral damage. The weapon would be carried upside down on what Diehl called a smart multi-launcher, capable of carrying six-eight weapons. Each missile is to be carried upside down, with the wing deploying once released. Development of the weapon will focus on current and future platforms, including the Franco-German Future Combat Air System and the EuroMALE unmanned air system.

Diehl says the weapon will feature an “innovative navigation platform” working in conjunction with various seekers, including a semi-active laser sensor.

France has been studying the potential of small, low-collateral weapons through its own small-diameter tactical bomb studies. It released an adapted version of the BAT-120 runway denial munition from a Mirage 2000D last year.