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Diehl’s Hope for Pilum Glide Bomb

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Germany’s Diehl BGT Defense is throwing itself into a new guided glide-bomb program, called Pilum.

Pilum’s rise comes as the Hope and Hosbo developments that have long occupied the business have been shelved, for now.

Hope was built around a penetrator warhead and targeted the German air force as a customer. But interest in such a warhead has changed to smaller warheads. Hosbo was more of a low-cost weapons option.

With Pilum, Diehl is going after customers that have a need for all-weather weapons delivery at a cost that is less than that of a full-up cruise missile. The company has sees its customer base mainly as European Eurofighter Typhoon operators.

The weapon marries the back-end and glide wing of the Hosbo concept, with Rafael’s Spice imaging infrared terrain matching seeker technology. It would use a Mk.82 bomb body.

Much of the basic development work has already been performed by industry, but flight trials await a launch order and government financing. The final development phase would run about two years.

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