Category Archives: Rocket

Standard Missile

Raytheon Company’s Missile Systems business has reached a $1 billion, five-year strategic agreement to purchase propulsion systems from Aerojet Rocketdyne for Standard Missile products. The deal represents a supply chain centerpiece of multi-year Standard Missiles contracts that Raytheon recently received.

Raytheon, Aerojet Rocketdyne strike $1 billion strategic sourcing deal for Standard Missile programs

«Moving to multi-year, rather than annual-year contracting enables Raytheon and its supply chain to deliver even more value to our Missile Defense Agency and U.S. Navy customers, and the taxpayer», said Eugene Jaramillo, Raytheon Missile Systems vice president of Global Supply Chain Management. «These multi-year agreements also allow our suppliers to transform the way they do business with Raytheon».

Aerojet Rocketdyne provides propulsion systems spanning Raytheon’s Standard Missile family. For the SM-2 missile, SM-3 interceptor and SM-6 missile, Aerojet Rocketdyne supplies the majority of the solid rocket motors for these systems. Also, for SM-3, the company produces the Divert and Attitude Control System, a high-precision, quick-reaction propulsion system that positions the interceptor to defeat incoming ballistic missiles.

«Aerojet Rocketdyne has supported one or more variants of the Standard Missile program for more than three decades; we are proud of our contributions to these vital defense products», said Eileen Drake, Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and president. «This significant agreement on multi-year contracts strengthens our current relationship and positions Aerojet Rocketdyne favorably for future business opportunities and continued growth».

Work on the programs will be spread across Aerojet Rocketdyne sites in Orange County, Virginia, the Solid Rocket Motor Center of Excellence in Camden, Arkansas, and at its Advanced Manufacturing Facility in Huntsville, Alabama. Raytheon produces SM-2 in Tucson, and SM-3 and SM-6 in Huntsville.

Anywhere, Anytime

A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket carrying the sixth Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) communications satellite for the U.S. Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center lifted off from Space Launch Complex-41 on March 26 at 4:18 p.m. EDT. This marks the 83rd successful launch of an Atlas V rocket, 138th launch for ULA and first mission for the U.S. Space Force.

Lockheed Martin’s sixth Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF-6) protected communications satellite is encapsulated in its protective fairings (Photo credit: United Launch Alliance)

The AEHF-6 satellite will bring additional capabilities and resilience to the constellation which already ensures «always-on» communications and the ability to transmit data anywhere, anytime. Once on orbit, AEHF-6 will complete the constellation, as well as mark the first launch under U.S. Space Force control. AEHF-6 will launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida on a United Launch Alliance (ULA) rocket in an Atlas V 551 configuration.

«While this is the final AEHF satellite launch, it really brings the constellation to full strength, capability and truly marks the beginning of the AEHF system’s full lifecycle», said Mike Cacheiro, vice president for Protected Communications at Lockheed Martin. «Still, it is a bittersweet moment for everyone involved, knowing this is our last launch for the AEHF program. Myself, as well as all of the employees who have supported the program at Lockheed Martin are incredibly grateful for our continued partnership with the U.S. Space Force’s Space and Missiles Systems Center».

AEHF-6 is part of the AEHF system – a resilient satellite constellation providing global coverage and a sophisticated ground control system. Together the constellation provides survivable, protected communications capabilities for national leaders and tactical warfighters operating across ground, sea and air platforms. The anti-jam system also serves international allies to include Canada, the Netherlands, United Kingdom and now Australia.

Lockheed Martin developed and manufactured AEHF-6 at its satellite production facility located in Sunnyvale, California. In January, the satellite shipped to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station courtesy of a Super Galaxy C-5 aircraft from the 60th Air Mobility Wing at Travis Air Force Base.

Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor for the AEHF system, and the AEHF team is led by the Production Corps, Medium Earth Orbit Division, at the Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center, at Los Angeles Air Force Base.

Glide Body

The Department of Defense successfully tested a hypersonic glide body in a flight experiment conducted from the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Kauai, Hawaii, March 19 at approximately 10:30 p.m. local time (HST).

A Common Hypersonic Glide Body (C-HGB) launches from Pacific Missile Range Facility, Kauai, Hawaii, at approximately 10:30 p.m. local time, March 19, 2020, during a Department of Defense flight experiment. The U.S. Navy and U.S. Army jointly executed the launch of the C-HGB, which flew at hypersonic speed to a designated impact point. Concurrently, the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) monitored and gathered tracking data from the flight experiment that will inform its ongoing development of systems designed to defend against adversary hypersonic weapons. Information gathered from this and future experiments will further inform DOD’s hypersonic technology development. The department is working in collaboration with industry and academia to field hypersonic warfighting capabilities in the early- to mid-2020s (U.S. Navy photo/Released)

The U.S. Navy and U.S. Army jointly executed the launch of a Common Hypersonic Glide Body (C-HGB), which flew at hypersonic speed to a designated impact point.

Concurrently, the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) monitored and gathered tracking data from the flight experiment that will inform its ongoing development of systems designed to defend against adversary hypersonic weapons.

Information gathered from this and future experiments will further inform DOD’s hypersonic technology development, and this event is a major milestone towards the department’s goal of fielding hypersonic warfighting capabilities in the early- to mid-2020s.

«This test builds on the success we had with Flight Experiment 1 in October 2017, in which our C-HGB achieved sustained hypersonic glide at our target distances», said Vice Admiral Johnny R. Wolfe, Director, Navy’s Strategic Systems Programs, which is the lead designer for the C-HGB. «In this test we put additional stresses on the system and it was able to handle them all, due to the phenomenal expertise of our top notch team of individuals from across government, industry and academia. Today we validated our design and are now ready to move to the next phase towards fielding a hypersonic strike capability».

Hypersonic weapons, capable of flying at speeds greater than five times the speed of sound (Mach 5), are highly maneuverable and operate at varying altitudes. This provides the warfighter with an ability to strike targets hundreds and even thousands of miles away, in a matter of minutes, to defeat a wide range of high-value targets. Delivering hypersonic weapons is one of the department’s highest technical research and engineering priorities.

«This test was a critical step in rapidly delivering operational hypersonic capabilities to our warfighters in support of the National Defense Strategy», said U.S. Army LTG L. Neil Thurgood, Director of Hypersonics, Directed Energy, Space and Rapid Acquisition, whose office is leading the Army’s Long Range Hypersonic Weapon program and joint C-HGB production. «We successfully executed a mission consistent with how we can apply this capability in the future. The joint team did a tremendous job in executing this test, and we will continue to move aggressively to get prototypes to the field».

The C-HGB – when fully fielded – will comprise the weapon’s conventional warhead, guidance system, cabling, and thermal protection shield. The Navy and Army are working closely with industry to develop the C-HGB with Navy as the lead designer, and Army as the lead for production. Each service will use the C-HGB, while developing individual weapon systems and launchers tailored for launch from sea or land.

The similarities in hypersonic weapon design for sea and land variants provide economies of scale for future production as we build the U.S. hypersonics industrial base.

«Hypersonic systems deliver transformational warfighting capability», said Mr. Mike White, Assistant Director, Hypersonics, OUSD Research and Engineering (Modernization). «The glide body tested today is now ready for transition to Army and Navy weapon system development efforts and is one of several applications of hypersonic technology underway across the Department. These capabilities help ensure that our warfighters will maintain the battlefield dominance necessary to deter, and if necessary, defeat any future adversary».

Additionally, MDA is working closely with Army and Navy in sharing data that will inform their development of enhanced capabilities for a layered hypersonic defense to support warfighter need and outpace the adversary threat.

Department of Defense Tests Hypersonic Glide Body

Seeker technology

BAE Systems has been awarded a contract from Lockheed Martin to design and manufacture next-generation infrared seekers for the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) weapon system, providing critical targeting technology that helps protect the U.S. and its allies from ballistic missiles. The sensor design work will improve the missile defense system’s ability to neutralize more threats and improve its manufacturability.

Next-generation seeker technology will help protect the U.S. and its allies from ballistic missiles

«The THAAD seeker is a key product in our precision munitions portfolio that’s recognized for its proven intercept capabilities. It demonstrates our ability to deliver advanced targeting and guidance systems for critical precision munitions», said Barry Yeadon, THAAD program director at BAE Systems. «This award is a testament to our ongoing success with the program, and enables us to advance our proven design and take the program into the future in support of the Missile Defense Agency’s mission».

The THAAD weapon system intercepts hostile ballistic missiles with kinetic force during their final, or terminal, phase of flight. BAE Systems’ seeker provides infrared imagery that guides interceptors to their intended targets, destroying enemy warheads inside or outside the Earth’s atmosphere. The company has been developing and producing missile defense seeker technology for more than four decades, and has delivered more than 500 THAAD seekers to date.

THAAD is an integral part of the MDA’s mission to field an integrated, layered, ballistic missile defense system. Its high-altitude intercept capability mitigates the effects of enemy weapons before they reach the ground, and its non-explosive kinetic impact minimizes the risk of detonation. THAAD is a highly effective system for addressing ballistic missile threats.

BAE Systems’ THAAD seekers are assembled, integrated, and tested at the company’s facilities in Nashua, New Hampshire and Endicott, New York. Portions of the design work for the next-generation seeker technology will be conducted in Huntsville, Alabama, where the company is actively hiring and building a state-of-the-art facility. The THAAD seeker program provides an opportunity for engineers to join a cutting-edge design program at its early stages in the Rocket City.

Next-generation radar

Raytheon Company completed the first round of testing of the first partially populated radar antenna array for the U.S. Army’s Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor, or LTAMDS. The milestone comes less than five months after the U.S. Army selected Raytheon to build LTAMDS, a next-generation radar that will defeat advanced threats like hypersonic weapons.

Raytheon completes first round of testing for new Lower Tier Air & Missile Defense radar

«Concluding these initial tests brings Raytheon one step closer to putting LTAMDS into the hands of service members», said Tom Laliberty, vice president of Integrated Air and Missile Defense at Raytheon’s Integrated Defense Systems business. «Raytheon and our supplier partners continue to make the right investments in people, technology and manufacturing capability to ensure we meet the U.S. Army’s Urgent Materiel Release».

The testing consisted of calibrating LTAMDS primary antenna array in an indoor, climate controlled test range, and evaluating its performance against simulated targets. With testing complete, the array is being mounted on a precision-machined enclosure for integration and further evaluation. It will then commence testing at an outdoor range against real-world targets.

LTAMDS consists of a primary antenna array on the front of the radar, and two secondary arrays on the rear. The radar antennas work together to enable operators to simultaneously detect and engage multiple threats from any direction, ensuring there are no blind spots on the battlefield. LTAMDS’ primary array is roughly the same size as the Patriot radar array, but provides more than twice Patriot’s performance. While it is designed for the U.S. Army’s Integrated Air and Missile Defense system, LTAMDS will also be able to preserve previous Patriot investments.

Raytheon is working closely with hundreds of suppliers across 42 states, including a core team playing a strategic role in building the LTAMDS solution. They are:

  • Crane Aerospace & Electronics;
  • Cummings Aerospace;
  • IERUS Technologies;
  • Kord Technologies;
  • Mercury Systems;
  • nLogic

Precision Strike Missile

Lockheed Martin successfully tested its next-generation long-range missile designed for the Army’s Precision Strike Missile (PrSM) program at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. All objectives were achieved in a flawless second performance following the missile’s inaugural flight last December.

Lockheed Martin successfully tested its next-generation long-range missile designed for the Army’s Precision Strike Missile (PrSM) program March 10, 2020, demonstrating a flawless second performance following the missile’s inaugural flight in December 2019, shown here

«Today’s flight test further demonstrated the reliability, precision and critical capabilities Lockheed Martin is building into the PrSM», said Gaylia Campbell, vice president of Precision Fires and Combat Maneuver Systems at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. «The missile performed exactly as expected and successfully engaged the target with pinpoint accuracy».

PrSM was fired from Lockheed Martin’s High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) launcher and flew a nominal trajectory approximately 180 kilometers/112 miles to the target area, culminating in a highly accurate and lethal warhead event.

Test objectives included confirming the missile’s flight trajectory, range and accuracy from launch to warhead event, as well as warhead lethality, HIMARS launcher integration and overall missile performance.

«This second consecutive successful flight test of Lockheed Martin’s PrSM validates our missile technology and confidence that Lockheed Martin is uniquely positioned to deliver this important, cost-effective capability to meet our U.S. Army customer’s priorities», Campbell said.

The next-generation precision-strike, surface-to-surface weapon system will deliver enhanced capabilities for attacking, neutralizing, suppressing and destroying targets at depth on the battlefield and give field artillery units a new long-range capability while supporting brigade, division, corps, Army, theater, Joint and Coalition forces.

Long Range Radar

The Missile Defense Agency’s (MDA) Long Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR) program has completed delivery of the first ten antenna panels to Clear, Alaska, that will make up the first of the system’s two radar antenna arrays. Lockheed Martin continues to successfully achieve all program milestones as it works towards delivering the radar to MDA in 2020. The system will serve as a critical sensor within MDA’s layered defense strategy to protect the U.S. homeland from ballistic missile attacks.

Trucks transporting radar panels to Clear Air Force Station prepare to leave Lockheed Martin’s Moorestown, New Jersey, facility (Photo Courtesy Lockheed Martin)

The two radar antenna arrays will be comprised of a total of 20 panels, each about 27 feet/8.23 meters tall, measuring approximately four stories high and wide. Temporary structures have been assembled in front of the radar facility to ensure the panels are installed on schedule, regardless of weather conditions. The installation and integration of the radar system began last year and will be followed by the transition to the testing period.

Over 66% of program technical requirements have already been verified at Lockheed Martin’s Solid State Radar Integration Site (SSRIS). «We are confident in our product because of the extensive testing that we have been able to perform in the SSRIS over the past few years with production hardware and tactical software. We have successfully reduced a large amount of risk to ensure fielding of this critical capability on schedule in 2020», says Chandra Marshall, director of Lockheed Martin’s Missile Defense and Space Surveillance Radar programs.

In 2018, LRDR achieved Technical Readiness Level 7 using a scalable and modular gallium nitride based «subarray» radar building block, providing advanced performance and increased efficiency and reliability to pace ever-evolving threats. Scaled versions of the LRDR technology will be utilized for future radar programs including Aegis Ashore Japan, recently designated AN/SPY-7(V)1, Canadian Surface Combatant, and Spain’s F-110 Frigate program.

LRDR combines proven Solid State Radar (SSR) technologies with proven ballistic missile defense algorithms, all based upon an open architecture platform capable of meeting future growth. The system will provide around-the-clock threat acquisition, tracking and discrimination data to enable defense systems to lock on and engage ballistic missile threats.

Construction of the structure that will house the Long Range Discrimination Radar is almost complete at Clear Air Force Station in Clear, Alaska (Photo Courtesy Lockheed Martin)

Qualification firing

MBDA has successfully carried out the first qualification firing trial of the Sea Venom/ANL anti-ship missile at the DGA Essais de missiles (DGA EM) test site at Ile Du Levant on 20 February 2020, another significant milestone for the Anglo-French co-operation programme.

MBDA’s Sea Venom/ANL missile succeeds in first qualification firing

The missile was launched from a Dauphin helicopter close to the minimum release height, reaching its cruise phase whilst sea skimming at very low height. During its terminal phase, the aircrew used images from the infrared seeker – transmitted through the datalink – to perform a successful manual aim point refinement. The missile has then followed this designated point until hitting the target with a very high degree of accuracy.

This latest firing builds on two previous ones that have all tested the missile to the very edge of its capability. The previous firings demonstrated Sea Venom/ANL’s Lock On After Launch (LOAL) and Lock On Before Launch (LOBL) capabilities. They also validated its low-altitude sea-skimming flight and its autonomous guidance capability using images from its uncooled Imaging InfraRed (IIR) seeker.

Sea Venom/ANL is a purpose-built anti-ship missile for the French and UK navies’ shipborne helicopters, and is suitable for a wide range of platforms. It will safely engage hostile vessels amongst civilian assets, even in congested littoral environments and will defeat a broad spectrum of targets including small fast-moving craft through to larger ships – at sea or in port – as well as coastal land targets.

Éric Béranger, MBDA CEO, said: «Sea Venom/ANL is the first Anglo-French co-operation programme to take full advantage of our centres of excellence, created following an Inter-Governmental Agreement ratified by both nations’ Parliaments in 2016. MBDA is putting full effort into the successful implementation of the Sea Venom/ANL programme, recognising it should exemplify the benefits of the close co-operation UK and France are sharing in defence – enhancing both nation’s sovereign capabilities in armaments while reducing costs».

The UK Royal Navy will use Sea Venom/ANL on its AW159 Wildcat, replacing Sea Skua, while France’s Marine Nationale will operate the missile from its future Guépard Light Joint Helicopter (HIL – Hélicoptère Interarmées Léger).

Next-generation radar

Raytheon Company finished building the first radar antenna array for the U.S. Army’s Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor (LTAMDS). Raytheon completed the work less than 120 days after the U.S. Army selected Raytheon to build LTAMDS, a next-generation radar that will defeat advanced threats like hypersonic weapons.

Raytheon’s LTAMDS design is a simultaneous 360-degree, Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar powered by the company’s Gallium Nitride (GaN) circuits, which strengthen the radar signal and enhance its sensitivity

«Raytheon’s employees and partners are focused on delivering the first LTAMDS by the Army’s Urgent Material Release date because we know how important expanded battlespace coverage and other capabilities are to the men and women in uniform», said Tom Laliberty, vice president of Integrated Air and Missile Defense at Raytheon’s Integrated Defense Systems business. «Because we invested in cutting-edge radar technology and advanced manufacturing capability, we will meet the customer’s critical milestones and get LTAMDS in the field rapidly».

The newly built primary array, similar in size to the Patriot radar array, will provide more than twice its performance.  Following extensive testing, the radar array will be mounted on a precision-machined enclosure for integration and further evaluation. The enclosure utilizes advanced design and manufacturing techniques for accelerated manufacture to support the U.S. Army’s Urgent Materiel Release program.

Raytheon is working closely with hundreds of suppliers across 42 states, including a core team playing a strategic role in building the LTAMDS solution. They are:

  • Crane Aerospace & Electronics;
  • Cummings Aerospace;
  • IERUS Technologies;
  • Kord Technologies;
  • Mercury Systems;
  • nLogic.

Missile on target

MBDA’s Marte Extended Range (ER) anti-ship missile has completed its second firing carried out at the Poligono Interforze del Salto di Quirra (PISQ) test range in Sardinia. This firing confirmed the overall design and performance of the missile marking a critical milestone in its development path.

New Marte Extended Range (ER) missile on target in second test firing

Compared to the first firing, which took place at the end of 2018, several additional features and functionalities were tested. These included an integrated navigation system, proximity fly-over fuze, with weapon controller and actuation system in advanced configuration. The missile also featured the terminal guidance with a new seeker, engineered and developed by the MBDA Seeker Division.

The floating target was hit with «almost zero» miss distance after a flight of about 100 km/62 miles. The missile pushed its envelope to the limit with several major manoeuvres including very low sea skimming at very high speed.

Hitting the target confirmed the perfect behavior of the missile and the telemetry system recorded a huge amount of data. Flight data showed very good alignment with simulation outcomes.

The Marte ER programme is progressing at full speed in order to meet customers’ requirements and the full integration of Marte ER on the Eurofighter Typhoon platform is proceeding at pace in order to implement an anti-ship capability onto the fighter.

 

CHARACTERISTICS

Weight 315 kg/694.5 lbs.
Length 3.60 m/11.81 feet
Maximum body diameter 316 mm/12.44 inch
Range Well beyond 100 km/62 miles
Speed High subsonic