Category Archives: Rocket

Missile Defense

The TLVS bidders consortium, an MBDA Deutschland and Lockheed Martin joint venture, has submitted its proposal to the German Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) to develop, test and deliver TLVS, Germany’s future Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) system.

MBDA Deutschland and Lockheed Martin Submit Proposal to Develop TLVS for Germany

The tender proposes an efficient four-phased approach that includes development, integration, testing and delivery of a fielded multi-mission system. The fielded unit will deliver new capabilities and significant performance enhancements well beyond the MEADS program and all known systems.

«A brief glance at the headlines show significant advances in adversarial threats in just the last five years, and we are operating in an environment today where those threats will likely only continue to proliferate», said Dietmar Thelen, managing director of the TLVS joint venture. «Germany needs a future-proof solution that can grow with the emerging threat».

Designed to replace Germany’s aging, sectored Patriot systems designed in the late 1960s, the 2019 TLVS proposal provides protection from a broader threat spectrum with two mission-specific effectors, significantly enhanced radar capabilities for long range engagements and a new communications system to support enhanced interoperability, data fusion and cyber resilience. TLVS will be the first-ever integrated air and missile defense system able to simultaneously detect, track and intercept multiple threat sets, including medium and short-range threats with full 360-degree coverage.

«We’ve completely reimagined TLVS based on customer requirements. Our approach reduces risk, supports lower life cycle costs and enables more effective coalition operations», said Gregory Kee, managing director of the TLVS joint venture. «TLVS will allow Germany to provide regional protection as the Framework Nation for Air and Missile Defense for NATO, with a high degree of system sovereignty».

The TLVS proposal represents the beginning of a new chapter in the longstanding partnership between MBDA Deutschland and Lockheed Martin.

With its integrated plug and fight interface, TLVS is the most advanced, networked 360° IAMD system in the world. It is the only system with the ability to adapt to evolving threats using capabilities that are tailored to the mission. TLVS will transform Germany’s defense capabilities and set an important precedent in how neighboring nations address persistent global threats for years to come.

Hypersonic weapon

Building on years of collaboration, Raytheon Company and Northrop Grumman Corporation have signed a teaming agreement to develop, produce and integrate Northrop Grumman’s scramjet combustors to power Raytheon’s air-breathing hypersonic weapons. The teaming agreement uses the combined capabilities of both companies to accelerate development and demonstrate readiness to produce the next generation of tactical missile systems.

Hypersonic vehicles operate at extreme speeds and high altitudes. Northrop Grumman and Raytheon are teaming to accelerate air-breathing hypersonic vehicle development

Scramjet engines use high vehicle speed to forcibly compress incoming air before combustion to enable sustained flight at hypersonic speeds. Such speeds reduce flight times and increase weapon survivability, effectiveness and flexibility.

«The Raytheon/Northrop Grumman team is quickly developing air-breathing hypersonic weapons to keep our nation ahead of the threat», said Doctor Thomas Bussing, Raytheon Advanced Missile Systems vice president. «This agreement combines Raytheon’s decades of tactical missile expertise with Northrop Grumman’s extensive scramjet engine development experience to produce the best possible weapons».

Northrop Grumman and Raytheon are working under a $200 million Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept, or HAWC, program contract to deliver an affordable, effective and producible cruise missile for DARPA and the U.S. Air Force.

«This teaming agreement extends our strong partnership with Raytheon on this critical technology capability. Our deep heritage in propulsion, fuzes and warheads will help accelerate readiness of tomorrow’s missiles to meet range, survivability, safety and lethality requirements», said Mike Kahn, vice president and general manager of Northrop Grumman’s Defense Systems. «Together with Raytheon, we intend to make great strides toward improving our nation’s high-speed weapon systems, which are critical to enhancing our warfighters’ capabilities for greater standoff and quicker time to target».

Under the agreement, Raytheon and Northrop Grumman will continue to collaborate on HAWC and future air-breathing hypersonic missiles. Both companies are investing in hypersonic technologies and programs to ensure the military has a robust portfolio.

Surface-To-Air Missiles

Over the five years of grinding war that has pitted Ukrainian forces against Russia-backed fighters, the United States has provided hundreds of millions of dollars in military gear: night-vision goggles, flak jackets, vehicles, counter-battery radars, among other things.

Next Up for U.S. Weapons Supplies to Ukraine? Possibly Surface-to-Air Missiles

Last year, after years of internal debate that preceded his administration, President Donald Trump began supplying Ukraine with sophisticated anti-tank missiles known as Javelins – a move that some feared would antagonize Moscow.

Now, U.S. lawmakers are moving to up the ante again, with legislation that would authorize supplying Kyiv with surface-to-air missiles.

The effort comes in an amendment being attached to legislation providing funding for the Defense Department; the amendment removes existing language prohibiting the sale of such missiles, known as MAN-Portable Air-Defense Systems, or MANPADS.

Sponsored by the two top lawmakers on the House Foreign Affairs Committee – Democrat Eliot Engel and Republican Michael McCaul – the measure, which is expected to pass easily, does not mean that the weapons will be supplied right away.

Any final decision would have to go through multiple approval processes at various U.S. agencies, including the U.S. Defense Department.

Moreover, targets for Ukrainian surface-to-air missiles are limited for now: Russia-backed separatists don’t have fighter jets, and Russia sending its own aircraft over Ukraine would undermine its assertions that it is not involved in the conflict.

Still, the move sends a clear message to the Kremlin of where Congress stands regarding the war in Ukraine. And, according to Steven Pifer, a former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, it’s a logical next step after the U.S. decision to supply Javelins to the Ukrainian armed forces.

«I don’t see this as generating more problems than the arrival of the Javelins did», Pifer, now a research fellow at Stanford University’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, told Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL). «We’re not talking about providing the Ukrainians with F-35 fighters or M-1 tanks».

The Defense Department did not immediately respond to a query seeking comment on the possibility of supplying the missiles.

One U.S. diplomat who has worked on Ukraine-related issues downplayed the significance of the amendment, telling RFE/RL on the condition of anonymity in order to speak freely that it simply removed «an arbitrary restriction that is not in place for most countries».

The move comes as part of a broader effort in Congress to increase military support for Ukraine. Two separate pieces of legislation making their way through the House and the Senate call for authorizing up to $300 million in annual military support for Ukraine, an increase from past years.

And the House legislation calls for the first time for supplying anti-ship missiles and coastal-defense weaponry to Ukraine in response to an incident in November 2018, when Russian Coast Guard ships seized three Ukrainian boats and 24 sailors in the Kerch Strait near the Crimean Peninsula.

Though the overall death toll has surpassed 13,000, fighting around Ukraine’s Donbas region has ebbed and flowed in intensity since 2014, when the conflict with Russia first erupted.

In recent weeks, there’s been a sharp uptick in artillery shelling and gunfire, with Ukraine’s military reporting that at least six soldiers were killed last week.

It’s unclear how Russia would respond if Washington did in fact move forward to supply the surface-to-air missiles.

And it’s unclear how that would affect stalled peace negotiations, including the so-called Minsk Trilateral Contact Group meetings and the Normandy Format talks. Ukraine’s newly elected president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, has called for restarting both efforts; last week, the Trilateral Group – comprised of officials from Russia, Ukraine, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe – met for the first time in weeks.

But Konstantin Kosachyov, a member of Russia’s upper house of parliament and a Kremlin ally, criticized the overall increase in U.S. military funding for Ukraine.

«In this way Washington fuels Ukraine’s internal conflict. Such foreign support may create a dangerous delusion in Kiev that a solution can be achieved by military means», Kosachyov said in a post to his Facebook page on June 11. «Each million dollars of military support to Kiev spells more casualties and months and even years of war against one’s own people, for which the United States will bear its share of responsibility».

The MANPADS would have no immediate battlefield use, Pifer noted, since Russian military aircraft have not been used in the conflict. Drones, however, are widely used by both sides in the conflict.

While Moscow reacted angrily when Washington agreed to supply the Javelins to Ukraine, there have been few remarks by Russian officials on the subject since the 210 missiles and 37 launchers arrived in April 2018.

Ukraine has showcased the Javelins in publicized drills but its armed forces have not used them in combat against Russia-backed forces in eastern battlefields.

The special U.S. envoy for Ukraine, Kurt Volker, has said that the Javelins are being stored in a secure facility far from the front line.

Ukrainian and U.S. sources with knowledge of the storage locations have told RFE/RL that the missiles and launchers have been separated into smaller groups and are held in strategic locations around the country, possibly in underground bunkers, where they can be moved quickly to areas that border Russia or the eastern front line.

In March, the top U.S. military commander for Europe told the Senate Armed Services Committee that even if the Javelins hadn’t been deployed, their presence had been registered by Russia-backed forces.

«They take that into consideration in the deployment of their forces and where they put them», General Curtis Scaparrotti told the committee.

Since 2014, Ukraine has received more than $3 billion in total support, including security and nonsecurity assistance, from the United States.

Anti-Missile System

American troops offload a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) launcher from a C-17 Globemaster III at Mihail Kogalniceanu (MK) Air Base, Romania, May 3, 2019.

The US Army earlier this month quietly deployed a THAAD battery to an air base in Romania to provide temporary anti-missile defense coverage while the Aegis Ashore installation in that country undergoes a scheduled upgrade (U.S. Army photo)

The THAAD deployed to Romania from 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, 32nd Army Air and Missile Defense Command out of Fort Hood, Texas.

The deployment of the THAAD is in support of the NATO Ballistic Missile Defense mission and reinforces the strong and unremitting U.S. commitment to the defense of our NATO allies.

The unit arrived in Romania in April to emplace a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system while NATO’s Aegis Ashore Ballistic Missile Defense site undergoes a long-planned update in the upcoming months.

Sensor technology

The successful LRASM sensor program demonstrates BAE Systems’ ability to quickly deliver advanced EW technology to warfighters.

Sensor technology guides next-generation missile to readiness
Sensor technology guides next-generation missile to readiness

BAE Systems worked closely with Lockheed Martin to deliver Long-Range Anti-Ship Missiles (LRASM) to the U.S. Air Force, achieving Early Operational Capability (EOC) for the B-1 B Lancer bomber ahead of schedule. The Air Force accepted delivery of production LRASM units following successful simulation, integration, and flight tests that demonstrated the missile’s mission readiness.

«We’re quickly delivering critical capabilities to warfighters to meet their urgent operational needs», said Bruce Konigsberg, Radio Frequency (RF) Sensors product area director at BAE Systems. «Our sensor systems provide U.S. warfighters with a strike capability that lets them engage protected, high-value maritime targets from safe distances. The missile provides a critical advantage to U.S. warfighters».

BAE Systems’ long-range sensor and targeting technology enables LRASM to detect and engage protected ships in all weather conditions, day or night, without relying on external intelligence and navigation data.

BAE Systems and Lockheed Martin are working closely together to further mature the LRASM technology. The companies recently signed a contract for the production of more than 50 additional sensors and are working to achieve EOC on the U.S. Navy’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet in 2019.

The advanced LRASM sensor technology builds on BAE Systems’ expertise in Electronic Warfare (EW), signal processing, and targeting technologies, and demonstrates the company’s ability to apply its world-class EW technology to small platforms. The successful LRASM sensor program demonstrates the company’s ability to quickly deliver advanced EW technology to warfighters.

As part of the company’s electronic warfare capacity expansion initiatives, it locates key programs where they will be optimally staffed to quickly transition from design to production, accelerate deliveries, and improve product affordability. The company’s work on the LRASM program is conducted at state-of-the-art facilities in Wayne, New Jersey and Nashua, New Hampshire, where it benefits from highly skilled EW engineering and manufacturing workforces.

Operations center

Northrop Grumman Corporation has delivered to the U.S. Army the first production-representative Engagement Operations Center (EOC) for the Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) Battle Command System (IBCS).

Northrop Grumman has delivered to the U.S. Army the first production-representative engagement operations center for the Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) Battle Command System (IBCS)
Northrop Grumman has delivered to the U.S. Army the first production-representative engagement operations center for the Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) Battle Command System (IBCS)

«This milestone is testament of the significant progress toward operational capability that will make pivotal differences to warfighters, commanders and acquisition officials», said Dan Verwiel, vice president and general manager, missile defense and protective systems, Northrop Grumman. «We will be delivering more EOCs as well as IBCS Integrated Fire Control Network (IFCN) relays in the near future. These articles will be used for Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E), which informs future production decisions».

The delivered IBCS EOC has completed all functional configuration audits for major configuration items and system verification review, and is representative of the production configuration for hardware and software that will undergo qualification testing before IOT&E. Northrop Grumman is on pace to deliver 11 EOCs and 18 IFCN relays for the IBCS program by the end of the year.

«Northrop Grumman will continue to closely collaborate with our customer and user communities to realize the groundbreaking vision of IBCS and its transformative impact on the air and missile defense mission», said Verwiel.

IBCS is a paradigm shift for IAMD by replacing legacy stove-piped systems with a next-generation, net-centric approach to better address an evolving array of threats. The system integrates disparate radars and weapons to construct a far more effective IAMD enterprise. IBCS delivers a single integrated air picture with unprecedented accuracy as well as broader surveillance and protection areas. With its truly open systems architecture, IBCS allows incorporation of current and future sensors and effectors and enables interoperability with joint C2 and the ballistic missile defense system.

IBCS is managed by the U.S. Army Program Executive Office for Missiles and Space, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama.

DARPA’s interceptor

Raytheon Company successfully tested a hot fire rocket motor for DARPA’s Multi-Azimuth Defense Fast Intercept Round Engagement System, or MAD-FIRES.

Raytheon tests rocket motor for DARPA's MAD-FIRES interceptor
Raytheon tests rocket motor for DARPA’s MAD-FIRES interceptor

The MAD-FIRES interceptor is designed to provide a robust and affordable self-defense capability that defeats multiple waves of anti-ship missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles, as well as other threats.

«The Navy is asking for leading-edge capabilities that can take out rapidly approaching targets, and Raytheon’s interceptor for the MAD-FIRES program will deliver», said Doctor Thomas Bussing, Raytheon Advanced Missile Systems vice president. «This test shows Raytheon is right on track to provide an affordable, advanced technology to the fleet».

If fielded, this capability will combine the speed, rapid fire and depth of a gun weapon system with the precision and accuracy of guided missiles.

LAND 19 Phase 7B

On March 15, 2019, Raytheon Australia and Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace (KONGSBERG) joined Defence Minister, the Hon. Christopher Pyne and South Australian Premier, the Hon. Steven Marshall, to announce that the National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System, NASAMS, was selected for the Australian Government’s Short Range Ground Based Air Defence program known as LAND19 Phase 7B. KONGSBERG is a subcontractor to Raytheon Australia.

NASAMS has been selected by the Australian Goverment for their LAND 19 Phase 7B
NASAMS has been selected by the Australian Goverment for their LAND 19 Phase 7B

NASAMS was in 2017 chosen for a Single Supplier Limited Tender process and has gone through a Risk Mitigation Activity, and subsequently passed Government approval marked at today’s event in Adelaide. NASAMS is a fully networked and distributed system allowing the Australian Army to counter complex air threats beyond visual range and, considerably increase protection of Australian soldiers.

«This announcement lays the foundation for further expansion in Australia and the region. KONGSBERG sees more significant opportunities in Australia and have been a partner to the Australian Defence Force for 30 years starting with the Penguin anti-ship missile program. We opened an office in Canberra last year and is increasing our staff in the country», says Eirik Lie, President Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace AS.

«NASAMS is the most sold air defence system in its class in the last 10 years. Its continuous evolution enables new capabilities to be implemented in the system», says Kjetil Reiten Myhra, Executive Vice President Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace AS.

First firing trial

The Brimstone 3 ultra-high precision missile system has successfully achieved a major milestone by completing its first firing trial at the Vidsel Trials range in Sweden.

The new-build Brimstone missiles will incorporate all of the improved functionalities offered by the spiral upgrades of Brimstone that have taken place over recent years
The new-build Brimstone missiles will incorporate all of the improved functionalities offered by the spiral upgrades of Brimstone that have taken place over recent years

Whilst enduring extreme weather conditions with temperatures below -30°C, the missile was surface launched against a pick-up truck target.

All trials objectives were fully achieved with the missile proving, through a telemetry unit, full closed loop guidance with the seeker progressing into target acquisition and track.

Russell Jamieson, Chief Engineer, said: «The trial further proves Brimstone’s fully flexible platform approach, providing a «one missile, multiple platform» capability, for surface launch, fast jet, Remotely Piloted Air Systems (RPAS), attack helicopter, land and maritime platforms, all utilising the same missile. The result really was a tremendous success, and thanks to the hard work and determination of the whole team».

The demonstrated surface to surface capability builds on the advanced guidance and targeting abilities developed during the Brimstone programme and from hundreds of successful operational firings against targets in structures, main battle tanks/armoured vehicles, maritime vessels, trucks, fast moving and manoeuvring cars/motorbikes and individual targets in the open.

Brimstone 3 is the product of the Brimstone Capability Sustainment Programme (CSP), announced in March 2018, that will provide new Brimstone missiles for the UK Armed Forces in order to replenish the country’s inventory and to maintain the UK’s battlefield edge into the future. It will also provide the ability to fully meet current and future export supply needs.

The new-build Brimstone missiles will incorporate all of the improved functionalities offered by the spiral upgrades of Brimstone that have taken place over recent years which include the highly capable Dual Mode Semi-Active Laser (SAL)/millimetric Wave (mmW) seeker, enhanced autopilot, and the new insensitive munition compliant rocket motor and warhead, all combining to provide unique performance capabilities of Brimstone against the most challenging of targets. The new hardware standard will also enable the addition of further capability upgrades in the future.

David’s Sling

The Israel Missile Defense Organization (IMDO) of the Directorate of Defense Research and Development (DDR&D) and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) successfully completed a test series of the David’s Sling Weapon System, a missile defense system that is a central part of lsrael’s multilayer antimissile array.

IMDO and MDA Successfully Complete David's Sling Weapon System Intercept Test Series
IMDO and MDA Successfully Complete David’s Sling Weapon System Intercept Test Series

This test series, designated David’s Sling Test-6 (DST-6) was the sixth series of tests of the David’s Sling Weapon System.

The test series examined capabilities and performance of the entire David’s Sling Weapon System. These successful tests are an important milestone in operational capability of Israel to defend itself against existing and future threats in the region.

The information collected during the test is being analyzed by program engineers and will be used for ongoing development and fielding of the David’s Sling Weapon System. This test series provides confidence in future Israeli capabilities to defend against large-caliber rockets and other developing threats.

The David’s Sling Weapon System project is a cooperative effort between the United States and Israel to develop a defense against large caliber rockets and short-range ballistic missiles.