Category Archives: Rocket

Missiles & Defense

Raytheon Missiles & Defense, a Raytheon Technologies business, is awarded an $867 million Missile Defense Agency contract to deliver SM-3 Block IIAs to the United States and partners.

SM-3 Block IIA
Missile Defense Agency awards Raytheon Missiles & Defense $867 million for SM-3 Block IIA

«The SM-3 Block IIA interceptor was developed in partnership with Japan, and it features a larger rocket motor and kinetic warhead that allow it to defend broader areas from long-range ballistic missile threats», said Tay Fitzgerald, president of Strategic Missile Defense at Raytheon Missiles & Defense. «Our strong cooperation with Japanese industry was essential to the development of this next-generation solution that can defeat complex threats around the world from sea and land».

The SM-3 Block IIA interceptor is a defensive weapon the U.S. Navy uses to destroy short- to intermediate-range ballistic missiles. The interceptor uses sheer force, rather than an explosive warhead, to destroy targets in space. Its «kill vehicle» hits threats with the force of a 10-ton truck traveling 600 mph/966 km/h. This technique, referred to as «hit-to-kill», has been likened to intercepting a bullet with another bullet.

The SM-3 Block IIA interceptor’s kinetic warhead has been enhanced, improving the search, discrimination, acquisition and tracking functions, to address advanced and emerging threats. The missile intercepted an advanced ballistic missile threat in its first live target test in early 2017.

The SM-3 interceptor is a critical piece of the Phased Adaptive Approach for missile defense in Europe. The interceptor is being carried by U.S. Navy ships deployed off Europe’s coast and is now operational at a land-based site in Romania, further enhancing Europe’s protection.

Missile Defense Radar

On May 26, 2022, the Search Track Acquire Radiate Eliminate (STARE) Project Office, U.S. Army Sentinel Product Office received the first five radars of its initial contract with Lockheed Martin. The Sentinel A4 radar is developed and manufactured by Lockheed Martin in Syracuse, New York, and has been on an accelerated schedule since the project was awarded in September 2019.

Sentinel A4
Lockheed Martin Delivers First Five Sentinel A4 Air & Missile Defense Radars To U.S. Army, Providing Improved Capability As Part Of The Army’s Modernization Efforts

«We are one step closer to getting this enhanced capability to our warfighters», stated Leah Cook, Sentinel Product Director for the U.S. Army Sentinel A4 program office. «The delivery of the first five radars is a result of collaboration and a continued commitment to the U.S. Army».

The U.S. Army and Lockheed Martin have a strong partnership founded on collaboration and trust. The process has included virtual reviews and working groups to maintain momentum through all program development phases.

«Our team understands the criticality of this technology and the need to get it fielded», said Mark Mekker, director of Army Radars for Lockheed Martin. «Our soldiers are in unpredictable environments, and the Sentinel A4 will provide improved eyes on the field to keep them safe».

 

What’s Next?

Lockheed Martin will support the Army in the government test program phase into early 2023. The radars will undergo mobility, environmental, radar performance and logistics testing. Production of the next five radar systems is already underway, and delivery is expected to begin in March 2023.

 

Future Forward to Protect Against Evolving Threats

The Sentinel A4’s open scalable radar architecture is the cornerstone of the radar system’s design and allows for addressing evolving threats with software modifications only.

The new air and missile defense radar will provide improved capability over the previous iteration, the Sentinel A3. It will outperform the legacy radar, delivering improvements in contested environments against cruise missiles, unmanned aerial systems, rotary wing and fixed wing aircraft, and rocket, artillery, and mortar threats. This includes enhanced surveillance, detection, and classification capabilities to protect U.S. Army maneuver formations.

 

Efficiencies & Cost Savings

Lockheed Martin radars are designed with a high degree of commonality. The company’s TPY-4 ground based air surveillance radar was built and validated under Lockheed Martin investment and significantly leveraged the Sentinel A4 radar design.

«Commonality across the radar portfolio enable sustainment efficiencies and significant cost savings for our customers. Our scalable technology, coupled with these efficiencies, has resulted in significant international interest in both the Sentinel A4 and TPY-4 radars to replace older assets that simply cannot be upgraded to match what our next generation systems are offering», said Chandra Marshall, Vice President and General Manager of Lockheed Martin’s Radar and Sensor Systems business.

Lockheed Martin continues to invest significantly in the advancement of its software-defined radar technology, including its automated manufacturing processes which improves quality and will lead to even further cost reductions.

Sentinel-A4

AKERON

MBDA presents AKERON, a unique family of fifth-generation tactical combat missiles, a quantum leap from the third and fourth generation weapons currently available on the market. This family includes the MMP and MHT missiles, now renamed AKERON MP and AKERON LP respectively.

AKERON
AKERON, the new unique family of fifth-generation combat weapons

With AKERON, MBDA is now offering a family of missiles that can adapt to the needs of collaborative tactical combat.

Today’s combat units operate in a variety of complex environments. These can be urban areas, open countryside, deserts or mountains, during the day or at night; and can also feature a combination and/or variety of forces, both allied and adversary. To respond to the wide range of threats they face, operators must be equipped with a versatile and precise capability enabling them to destroy fixed or mobile land targets – including the latest-generation tanks and light combat vehicles – but also neutralize dismounted adversaries or adversaries in hardened or defensive fighting positions. All whilst minimizing the risk of collateral damage. Operators also need to be protected during engagements with simplicity of implementation, the capacity to «fire and forget» or engage a target while remaining hidden from sight.

Designed for these operational realities, the AKERON family of missiles incorporates the latest technologies in terms of high-resolution multi-band imagers, multi-effect warheads (anti-tank, anti-infrastructure, anti-personnel), data links, and multi-mode guidance algorithms based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques. All ensuring robust and precise guidance at any distance, in all conditions. Each has their own specifications in order to be perfectly adapted to the missions of the combat units and platforms using them.

Operators thus have the broadest spectrum of tactical options to deal with their targets, thanks to the many possible modes of engagement. These include ‘fire and forget’, human-in-the-loop, locking the target before firing (LOBL), or locking on after firing (LOAL), which facilitates firing beyond line of sight (BLOS).

The missiles of the AKERON family meet current and future operational needs for dismounted combat as well as from land, air (helicopter, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) and even naval platforms. They are also ideal for integration into the digital environment of the battlefield, and suited for collaborative combat.

Military Utility Vehicle

One of HENSOLDT’s core competences is recognizing threats and protecting end users. At EUROSATORY 2022 in Paris, HENSOLDT presents its broad range of sensor solutions for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations as well as sensors to improve the safety and operational effectiveness.

Military Utility Vehicle (MUV)
In Paris, HENSOLDT and IVECO Defence Vehicle are jointly presenting the Military Utility Vehicle (MUV) concept demonstrator (Photo: HENSOLDT AG)

In Paris, HENSOLDT and IVECO Defence Vehicle are jointly presenting the Military Utility Vehicle (MUV) concept demonstrator. For the first time, the MUV will present a modular sensor fusion platform that can be used in the civilian and military sectors for reconnaissance as well as for self-protection and convoy protection. The basis of the MUV concept demonstrator is an all-terrain chassis from IVECO DV with a maximum payload of four tonnes. A sensor suite from HENSOLDT is installed on it, with the See Through Armour System (SETAS), Multifunctional Self-Protection for Vehicles (MUSS), Radio Direction Finder and S3 MIMO systems. All systems are connected by a Central Processing Unit (CIPU), which forms the backbone of the sensor suite.

With TRML-4D, the latest member of its C-Band (NATO G-Band) ground-based air defence radar family, HENSOLDT is showing a state-of-the-art system regarding naval and ground tactical radars. TRML-4D uses the latest Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar technology, with multiple digitally formed beams. It is designed for near- to long-range ground-to-air detection and for weapon assignment. It is capable of detecting, tracking, and classifying various types of air targets, with an emphasis on small, fast, and low-flying and/or manoeuvring cruise missiles and aircraft as well as hovering helicopters. It ensures rapid response detection and tracking of approximately 1,500 targets in a radius of up to 250 km/155.3 miles and at an altitude of up to 30 km/18.6 miles.

HENSOLDT is showcasing a very precise picture of the airspace, created by its passive radar system Twinvis. The system does not emit actively any signal but uses several transmission sources from various locations. It can also interconnect several sensors into one sensor cluster. The transmitters and the Twinvis sensors can be separated from each other at a distance of up to 100 kilometres/62.1 miles. Unlike systems based on passive emitter tracking, requiring aircraft to emit, Twinvis does not depend on any such transmission and does not emit itself, thus being a truly passive system.

Alongside the ground-based radars, HENSOLDT is showing its counter-UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) system Xpeller for 24/7 protection from illicit intrusions of UAVs over critical areas – even at long ranges – offering a low false alarm rate and high probability of interception. The system is highly modular and combines numerous sensors (radar, electro-optics, direction finders) and target neutralization effectors such as jammers and drone catchers through a single Command and Control (C2) system.

At EUROSATORY, HENSOLDT will demonstrate ARGOSIA, which is a range of embedded Maritime Surveillance (SURMAR) and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) mission systems designed to meet the requirements of air surveillance and intelligence missions. Together with battle-proofed sensors and equipment selected for their reliability and performances, ARGOSIA proposes many system configurations meeting the needs of defence, maritime and overland surveillance, law enforcement, Search & Rescue as well as imagery intelligence (IMINT) and signals intelligence (SIGINT) missions. This modular and multi-console system consists of the Mission Management System software ARGOSIA, which integrates an advanced digital cartography engine, a sensor-fusion algorithm and powerful decision-support tools that help optimize operator workload.

GhostEye Medium‐Range

Right now, that’s especially true of the medium‐range mission space, which has seen a proliferation of adversarial cruise missiles, drones, fixed‐wing and rotary wing aircraft.

GhostEye MR
GhostEye MR: a new radar for medium‐range air defense

«Today’s battlefield moves at a very rapid pace, and it’s riddled with a large portfolio of threats», said Joe DeAntona, a retired U.S. Army colonel who is now vice president for Land Warfare and Air Defense requirements and capabilities at Raytheon Missiles & Defense. «Informed decisions must be made in seconds – not minutes or hours».

Modern missile defense is about more than speed, said DeAntona, who was an air and missile defender for more than 30 years. He added that militaries also require radars that see in 360 degrees and can search, track, discriminate and cue interceptors against multiple types of threats.

 

Integrates with a proven system

Raytheon Missiles & Defense, or RMD, is offering GhostEye MR radar for integration with the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System, or NASAMS.

This medium‐range air defense solution, made in partnership with Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace, has been operational for more than three decades and is currently used by the U.S. and 11 allied nations. The widespread adoption of NASAMS «indicates the highest level of confidence by a global customer base», DeAntona said.

GhostEye MR «integrates with NASAMS and absolutely takes that system to the next level», said Lindsay Viana, director of ground‐based air defense on RMD’s Requirements and Capabilities team.

«This radar expands the range and altitude that the proven NASAMS defends, dramatically increasing overall effectiveness of the air defense capability». Viana said.

As a component of NASAMS, the sensor maximizes the range of that system’s effectors – including RMD’s Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile Extended Range variant, or AMRAAM‐ER – improving accuracy and performance.

In particular, GhostEye MR’s combination of two key technologies – Active Electronically Scanned Array, or AESA, and military‐grade Gallium Nitride, or GaN – give the sensor a distinct advantage.

«With the addition of GhostEye MR, we extend battlespace coverage to the full kinematic envelope, or reachable area, of the Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile Extended Range (AMRAAM‐ER) effector», Viana said.

 

Leveraging LTAMDS commonality

As the latest product in RMD’s GhostEye family of radars, the medium‐range sensor leverages commonality with the Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor, or LTAMDS, technology that the company is making for the U.S. Army.

«The architecture of our GhostEye family of radars is scalable and modular, enabling a wide range of missions», DeAntona said, adding that «these advancements are now being applied to the GhostEye MR mission set. It’s all logistically streamlined, cost‐effective and easy to integrate».

Raytheon Missiles & Defense adds and extends capabilities through secure software upgrades via «software‐defined aperture» digital technology – similar to that used in updating smartphones, though far more sophisticated. And, there’s no need to take the radar out of the field for these upgrades.

 

Adaptability and interoperability

As sophisticated threats evolve, so too does NASAMS with GhostEye MR. The system’s open architecture allows technology adaptations and updates that empower it to counter adversaries in the ever‐expanding medium range.

Another advantage is its interoperability – the capability to communicate with other systems – for strengthening strategic agility and flexibility.

«That is crucial, and NASAMS has it», said DeAntona. «NASAMS meets all NATO requirements for interoperability. It can communicate with other weapons systems on the NATO network – doing so in real time».

Meanwhile, GhostEye MR is on an accelerated path toward integration in NASAMS. For instance, it is already approved to be part of that system’s fire direction‐and‐control loop. Raytheon Missiles & Defense employed a comprehensive digital design environment spanning the radar’s physical and functional characteristics as well as modeling and simulation to assess its effective performance in a variety of mission scenarios.

The sensor is currently undergoing open‐air testing and multi‐mission demonstrations. The data collected through these events is being used to enhance the fidelity of the digital design models.

«When GhostEye MR searches for something», DeAntona said, «it does so with such fidelity, such accuracy, that it can provide the effector the real time information it needs to take action».

The latest addition to the GhostEye MR family of radars made by Raytheon Missiles & Defense will counter escalating medium-range threats and fortify layered air and missile defense

Autonomous Launcher

It’s a concept that would thicken the force and increase mass fires – and it’s one step closer to reality for the Warfighter.

Autonomous Multi-Domain Launcher (AML)
Soldier touchpoints guide successful autonomous launcher demo

The U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Aviation & Missile Center (DEVCOM AvMC) successfully demonstrated proof of concept for an Autonomous Multi-Domain Launcher (AML) in a multi-round live fire demonstration at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. The demonstration was conducted on behalf of the Long-Range Precision Fires Cross-Functional Team (LRPF CFT), in partnership with the DEVCOM Ground Vehicle Systems Center (GVSC) and the 18th Field Artillery Brigade.

A total of seven rockets were fired, showcasing AML’s lethality potential in Anti-Access/Area Denial (A2/AD) multi-domain operations, particularly in the Indo-Pacific theater, the focus of the demonstration’s simulation.

«Our whole job was to prove that it is possible to control and drive this size vehicle remotely, bring it down to a heading that is desired, and remotely fire it», said Lucas Hunter, AML project manager for DEVCOM Aviation & Missile Center. «The AML Surrogate responded to commands as expected. This allowed our team to confirm that it is possible to control all actions necessary to emplace and attack a target from a remote location. We have also learned a great deal about design considerations from an operational perspective that will be incorporated into a future AML design».

To demonstrate the concept via a surrogate AML system, the test team applied remote driving and firing kits to a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, allowing for the surrogate to demonstrate semi-autonomous launcher driving and launcher control capability. All operations of the technology demonstration were conducted by field artillery Soldiers from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, with subject matter experts from DEVCOM AvMC and DEVCOM GVSC collecting feedback to guide future design demonstrations.

«This is an important first step to see what this looks like», said AvMC Director Jeffrey Langhout. «Twenty years ago we would have probably never done it this way, but because of who we are today, the very first time we put this together, we had real Soldiers doing the operating. Everything was done by Soldiers. All the engineers and all the great technologists were sitting out there and watching and cheering them on, but they were doing all of the work. It was great to be a part of».

The AML concept brings together two key elements of the Army Modernization Strategy – robotics and autonomy. The autonomous, unmanned, highly mobile, C-130 Super Hercules transportable launcher would increase lethality, with additional launcher platforms, and add three times the firepower and magazine depth, while minimally increasing force structure.

«This gives the Warfighter an agile, deployable, mid-range capability that will be survivable in an archipelagic operational environment, island hopping type of campaign, to engage a variety of A2/AD targets», said LRPF CFT Director Brigadier General John Rafferty.

While the demonstration identified physical and cybersecurity challenges for the unmanned launchers and evaluated communication needs for manned-teaming, the bread and butter of the nearly three-week event was the opportunity for DEVCOM engineers to work side by side with the Warfighter. Engineers gathered valuable feedback, whether it was the mechanic ensuring the oil had been checked on the vehicle or capabilities the Soldiers would like to see in future iterations.

«Any time you can get Soldiers, operators and engineers together – it’s impossible to overstate how important Soldier touchpoints are», Rafferty said. «This gets right at one of the fundamental tenets of Army Futures Command, which is Soldier-informed development».

From the ground up, the AML concept will be designed with the Warfighter in mind.

«Every individual has a different view, so the more input we have, the better this will be», said Lauren Ruta, a member of the AvMC AML test team. «It’s good for both sides, because as engineers, we design this but we’re not the users. There’s a huge disconnect between us designing and the actual users, because we don’t always know exactly what they need. Seeing what will really help them helps us make the design better. It’s good for the Soldier because they oftentimes just get equipment, but they don’t always get to see the work that went into designing it».

For members of the 18th Field Artillery Brigade, having their voices heard and offering insight into a concept that may one day make it into theater was an exciting prospect.

«Our job here is to figure out what’s the difference between AML and what we always do, so we can give good, constructive feedback on what we do in the field every day versus what they have so far», said 1st Lieutenant Janeen Smith with the 18th Field Artillery Brigade. «My crew is super excited. Later in life we can explain to everyone, ‘This is what I was a part of. I was part of the making of that.’»

The DEVCOM Aviation & Missile Center, headquartered at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the Army’s research and development focal point for advanced technology in aviation and missile systems. It is part of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM), a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Futures Command. AvMC is responsible for delivering collaborative and innovative aviation and missile capabilities for responsive and cost-effective research, development and life cycle engineering solutions, as required by the Army’s strategic priorities and support to its Cross-Functional Teams.

The Autonomous Multi-Domain Launcher (AML) is an Army Futures Command Long Range Precision Fires Cross-Functional Team, U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Aviation & Missile Center, and Ground Vehicle Systems Center, Science and Technology initiative to develop and demonstrate an autonomous, unmanned, highly mobile, C-130 transportable launcher. The prototype launcher will be capable of leader-follower autonomy, autonomous way point navigation, drive-by-wire, and remote launcher turret and fire control operation. It will be capable of launching longer munitions while remaining compatible with the current munitions. This video is a SIMULATION of how this technology could be used by the future force, this is not a real event

Stinger missile production

Raytheon Missiles & Defense, a Raytheon Technologies business, was awarded a $624 million U.S. Army contract to produce 1,300 Stinger missiles. The contract includes provisions for engineering support, as well as the test equipment and support needed to address obsolescence, modernize key components, and accelerate production.

Stinger
The Stinger missile’s seeker and guidance system enables the weapon to acquire, track and engage a target with one shot (Photo: U.S. Army)

«We’re aligned with the U.S. Army on a plan that ensures we fulfill our current foreign military sale order, while replenishing Stingers provided to Ukraine and accelerating production», said Wes Kremer, president of Raytheon Missiles & Defense. «The funding will be used to enhance Stinger’s producibility in an effort to meet the urgent need for replenishment».

The combat-proven Stinger missile is a lightweight, self-contained air defense system that can be rapidly deployed by ground troops. Its supersonic speed, agility and highly accurate guidance and control system give the weapon an operational edge against cruise missiles and all classes of aircraft.

The contract is being funded from the Ukraine Supplemental, which contains emergency funding to support Ukrainian defense forces. Raytheon Missiles & Defense continues to work closely with the U.S. Army and its supplier partners to rapidly support the growing demand for Stinger.

Long Range Precision Fires

As the U.S. Army’s number one modernization priority, Long Range Precision Fires (LRPF) has a heavy (pay)load to carry.

Precision Strike Missile (PrSM)
An M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System launches a Precision Strike Missile on December 10, 2019, at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. HIMARS is one of the Army’s front-running munitions that addresses Long Range Precision Fires (Photo by White Sands Missile Range, Kinsey Lindstrom)

But the program, of which the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM) Aviation & Missile Center (AvMC) plays a critical role, has proven to stand up to the scrutiny. The Precision Strike Missile, part of the LRPF portfolio, is an integral reason why.

« Precision Strike Missile (PrSM) is an exciting capability improvement for the Army that will provide dramatic improvements in targeting, lethality and range while using existing launchers», said Christi Dolbeer, director of the Technology Development Directorate at DEVCOM AvMC.

What makes PrSM so revolutionary? Both an ambitious approach to increasing capabilities but also a pragmatic one. Those launchers are already built, already in the field and already utilized by Soldiers who will not need extensive additional training on the weapons system’s operation. That design was intentional given the Army’s «do more with less» climate and an expected program price tag of more than $1.2 billion over five years.

«PrSM fits in the existing High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) launchers», said Mike Turner, Fires Capability Area Lead for DEVCOM AvMC. «It is part of the command-and-control structure. It will be organic to all Army fires units. So, we have hundreds of launchers already capable of firing this and the targeting dilemma we create for potential adversaries is significant. Especially when we talk about increment four, where we can shoot 1000 kilometers/621.4 miles and that can come from any field artillery rocket and missile unit».

The first increment of PrSM brings with it the capabilities of an increased 500-kilometer/310.7-mile range and double the missile capacity per launcher compared to the aging Army Tactical Missile System. It is currently in an engineering and manufacturing development phase overseen by the Program Executive Office Missiles and Space Strategic and Operational Rockets and Missiles Project Office and is scheduled to be delivered to Soldiers in 2023.

Engineers at DEVCOM AvMC are currently working with prime contractor Lockheed Martin on increment two, which will integrate a multimode seeker to hit both poorly located unmoving targets and moving targets. This capability will expand the PrSM target set to include maritime targets under the Land-Based Anti-Ship Missile science and technology program.

Still in its early stages, increment three focuses on an enhanced lethality: adding smart submunitions – a small munition that separates from the missile prior to impact – and multiple target capabilities. Increment three will also present an opportunity for industry competition.

In a testament to Army adaptability, the increment intended to be fourth has been prioritized ahead of three and will extend PrSM’s range to 1000 kilometers/621.4 miles, doubling the range of increment capabilities. The reordering, directed by Army Futures Command and the Army, was due to «a need for a longer range in certain theaters», Turner said.

Doubling the range of the precursor missile with increment one –then doubling it again with increment four – is ambitious. Turner credits the leadership of the Long Range Precision Fire Cross-Functional Team in fostering collaboration within the Army enterprise, a collaboration that has opened avenues of ingenuity for a program conceptualized by the DEVCOM AvMC team in 2011. As increment one is soon to be delivered under urgent materiel release, Turner and his team’s belief in the future of the program remains unwavering.

«We are confident we can do it», he said.

The DEVCOM Aviation & Missile Center, headquartered at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the Army’s research and development focal point for advanced technology in aviation and missile systems. It is part of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Futures Command. AvMC is responsible for delivering collaborative and innovative aviation and missile capabilities for responsive and cost-effective research, development and life cycle engineering solutions, as required by the Army’s strategic priorities and support to its Cross-Functional Teams.

Ballistic Missile Defence

The UK will become the first European nation to operate a Maritime Ballistic Missile Defence capability that can detect and destroy Anti-Ship Ballistic Missiles.

Aster 30 Block 1
Type 45 Ballistic Missile Defence upgrade to support more than 100 UK jobs

Type 45 Destroyers to receive significant upgrade as the UK to become the first European nation to operate a Maritime Ballistic Missile Defence detect and destroy capability.

UK have joined tri-national ASTER Block 1 missile programme with France and Italy.

Full upgrade programme worth more than £300 million, supporting more than 100 jobs, including highly skilled roles in Stevenage, Cowes, Bristol and Bolton.

The UK is set to become the first European nation to operate a Maritime Ballistic Missile Defence capability that can detect and destroy Anti-Ship Ballistic Missiles as it commits to a significant upgrade of Britain’s fleet of Type 45 destroyers.

The upgraded defence system, using the ASTER 30 Block 1 missile previously used only in French and Italian land systems, will help UK forces combat the increasing threats posed by anti-ship ballistic missiles at sea by developing the missile into a maritime variant.

The Ministry of Defence has placed an initial contract for this work with MBDA which, when delivered, will be worth more than £300 million and support more than 100 jobs across the UK – including highly skilled technology roles in areas such as system design and software engineering in Stevenage, Cowes, Bristol and Bolton.

Defence Procurement Minister, Jeremy Quin said: «As we face global uncertainty, alliances and greater defensive capability are more important than ever. Joining our French and Italian counterparts will see us collectively improve the cutting-edge technology our armed forces possess».

It is another example of us delivering on the commitments from the Defence Command Paper, helping protect our service personnel when faced with the most severe threats.

Upgrading the defensive capability of the Type 45 fleet was committed to in the Defence Command Paper, as part of the Integrated Review last year. Being able to defend against anti-ship ballistic missiles will add to the current capability of the Destroyers to defeat threats from the air.

The signing of the tri-national agreement is the first formal step in the upgrade of the six vessels, which will include converting existing missiles to the ASTER 30 Block 1 standard, as well as updates to the SAMPSON Multi-Function Radar (MFR) and Sea Viper command and control missile system, under the full Sea Viper Evolution programme.

Sea Viper’s upgrade will boost the lethality of the Type 45 vessels, helping to ensure the Royal Navy remains poised to defend the surface fleet and the Maritime Strike Group against complex air threats both now and into the future.

DE&S CEO Sir Simon Bollom, said: «This demonstrates the UK commitment to delivering a cutting-edge maritime Air Defence Capability. Sea Viper Evolution will deliver a significant uplift in capability and brings to a close many years of detailed planning and activity by the Maritime Air and Weapons team in DE&S».

The Sea Viper Evolution programme follows the recent contract awards to introduce the Common Anti Air Modular Missile (CAMM) into the Type 45, which will see the missile outload of the platform increased from 48 to 72 missiles.

The Royal Navy’s Type 45 destroyers are among the most advanced in the fleet and carry out a range of activity, including defence from air attack, counter-piracy operations and providing humanitarian aid».

Missile Defense Sensor

The first Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor (LTAMDS), built by Raytheon Missiles & Defense, a Raytheon Technologies business, arrived at the U.S. Army’s White Sands Missile Range on April 11th. The radar is the newest air and missile defense sensor for the U.S. Army, providing significantly more capacity and capability against the wide range of advancing threats facing air defenders around the world.

LTAMDS
Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor (LTAMDS) arrives at White Sands Missile Range

This is the first of six radars planned for delivery to the Army in 2022 and marks the beginning of a series of extensive tests to prove LTAMDS performance and functionality in an operational environment.

«Together with the Army, we set out to build a radar that could detect and defend against complex and evolving threats while reducing the workload on operators – and we’ve done it with LTAMDS», said Tom Laliberty, president of RMD’s Land Warfare & Air Defense business unit. «LTAMDS provides dramatically more performance against the range of threats, from manned and unmanned aircraft to cruise missiles and ballistic missiles. Air defense forces around the world are taking notice of LTAMDS, with over a dozen countries showing formal interest in acquiring the radar».

LTAMDS is a 360-degree, Active Electronically Scanned Array radar powered by RMD-manufactured Gallium Nitride, a substance that strengthens the radar’s signal, enhances its sensitivity, and increases its reliability. LTAMDS is designed to operate as a sensor in the U.S. Army’s Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System.

LTAMDS, designed specifically for the U.S. Army’s lower tier mission, is the first sensor in a family of radars Raytheon is calling GhostEye. These sensors can detect otherwise unseen threats at greater distances, higher velocities, and from any direction. Leveraging the advancements of GaN technology and commonality with LTAMDS, Raytheon has separately developed GhostEye MR, a medium-range battlefield radar.