Category Archives: Rocket

SPIKE LR missile

BAE Systems has successfully fired an integrated, long-range anti-tank guided missile from the CV90 Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) in a recent series of tests.

BAE Systems’ CV90 increases lethality by testing SPIKE LR anti-tank guided missile

This advancement further diversifies the CV90’s operational capabilities on the battlefield by enabling indirect fire at long distances or at air targets, boosting the vehicle’s lethality while increasing crew safety.

The testing, which took place in difficult arctic conditions, used a Rafael Advanced Defense Systems’ Spike-LR (long range) missile mounted on a BAE Systems Hägglunds’ CV90 to defeat a target at more than 2,000 metres/6,562 feet. The exercise marks the first time an integrated version of an anti-tank guided missile has been launched from the CV90. It also demonstrates the platform’s versatility to perform a wide range of missions, and shows the CV90 can easily adapt to new technologies for meeting current and future customer needs.

«This integrated anti-tank capability confirms that the CV90 is a true benchmark when it comes to expanding a family of multi-mission armoured fighting vehicles», said Dan Lindell, CV90 platform director at BAE Systems Hägglunds. «This new capability can alter the battlefield dynamic and is yet another example of how the CV90’s already superior mobility and survivability allows the warfighter to pack an even heavier punch in any terrain or weather conditions, and at any time on any battlefield».

The December testing took place in northern Sweden in below freezing temperatures with heavy snowfall and low visibility.

«We fully appreciate Rafael and their Spike team for working with us to demonstrate this important capability and look forward to continuing our collaboration to provide present and future customers with this powerful addition to the CV90’s lethality suite», Lindell said.

The long-range missile testing is yet another recent example of improved lethality on the CV90. BAE Systems is currently executing a Swedish government contract to provide a mortar variant of the CV90 called Mjölner that adds greater mobility to close indirect fire support.

More than 1,200 CV90s of numerous variants are in service with Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the Netherlands. The vehicle has a combat-proven track record and is designed to accommodate future growth to meet evolving missions.

AMRAAM Production

Raytheon Company was awarded the following contract as announced by the Department of Defense on December 27, 2019.

U.S. Air Force awards Raytheon $768 million Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile contract

Raytheon Missile Systems Co., Tucson, Arizona, has been awarded a $768,283,907 non-competitive fixed-price incentive (firm) contract for Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) Production Lot 33. This contract provides for the production of the AMRAAM missiles, captive air training missiles, guidance sections, AMRAAM telemetry system, spares and other production engineering support hardware.

Work will be performed in Tucson, Arizona, with an expected completion date of February 28, 2023. This contract involves unclassified foreign military sales to Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Indonesia, Japan, Kuwait, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Korea, Spain, Thailand, Turkey and United Kingdom, which accounts for 47% of the contract value. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Air Dominance Division Contracting Office, Eglin Air Force Base (AFB), Florida, is the contracting activity.

 

Modern, Versatile and Proven

The AMRAAM air-to-air missile is the world’s most sophisticated air dominance weapon. With more than 25 years of design, upgrades, testing and production, the AIM-120 missile continues to meet all warfighter requirements. Its capabilities have been fully demonstrated in over 4,200 test shots and 10 air-to-air combat victories.

The AMRAAM missile is a versatile and proven weapon with operational flexibility in a wide variety of scenarios, including air-to-air and surface-launch engagements. In the surface launch role, it is the baseline weapon on the Norwegian Advanced Surface to Air Missile System (NASAMS) launcher.

In the air-to-air role, no other missile compares to the AMRAAM missile. The weapon’s advanced active guidance section provides aircrew with a high degree of combat flexibility and lethality. Its mature seeker design allows it to quickly find targets in the most combat challenging environments.

Procured by 37 countries including the U.S., the combat-proven AMRAAM missile has been integrated onto the F-15 Eagle, F-16 Fighting Falcon, F/A-18 Hornet, F-22 Raptor, Typhoon, Gripen, Tornado and Harrier. The AIM-120C5 and AIM-120C7 missiles are fully integrated onto the F-35 Lightning II and support the U.S. Marine Corps’ F-35B Lightning II Initial Operational Capability (IOC) as the only air-to-air missile qualified on the F-35 Lightning II.

Enforcer missile

MBDA has been awarded by the German Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) a contract for the acquisition of Enforcer missile systems for the German Armed Forces. Signed on 20 December, the contract will fulfil the German requirement for a lightweight, day/night, precision-guided, shoulder-launched weapon system with an effective range of more than 1,800 m/1.118 mile.

Germany procures Enforcer missiles from MBDA

Thomas Gottschild, Executive Group Director Strategy and Managing Director MBDA Germany said: «The German customer has chosen the Enforcer after a detailed, competitive evaluation for the ‘Leichtes Wirkmittel 1800+’ requirement. With this contract, we are partnering with the German Armed Forces to ensure the Bundeswehr has this comprehensive weapon for years to come».

Éric Béranger, CEO of MBDA said: «With the addition of the shoulder-launched Enforcer, MBDA is now firmly embarked in a complete renewal of its family of battlefield engagement weapons that started with Brimstone 3 and Missile Moyenne Portée (MMP), a Medium Range missile introduced last year into the French Army. Enforcer, MMP and Brimstone now form the core of a portfolio that we hope will see many further developments».

Enforcer provides low-collateral precision effects capabilities against the threat from lightly armoured static and moving targets, targets behind cover, and against targets at long range also in urban environments. Resulting from a multinational MBDA development effort, the Enforcer will complement the ‘Wirkmittel 90’ shoulder-launched unguided munition capability in the German Armed Forces. MBDA is now set to complete qualification, and prepare for series production.

The modular design of the Enforcer system enables a range of future development options, including a prospective ‘family’ of Enforcer munitions for land, air and sea applications.

 

The Enforcer concept is a new lightweight, disposable shoulder-launched guided munition in the 2 km/1.2 mile class. Modular design offers prospect of a future family of Enforcer munitions

Key features of Enforcer at a glance:

  • Fire-and-forget missile system
  • Range up to 2,000 m/1.243 mile
  • High precision over full range
  • Lock-On Before Launch (LOBL)
  • Capability against lightly armoured and soft skinned targets
  • Effect against targets behind cover through airburst capability
  • Multi-effects warhead
  • Enclosed space firing capability
  • Lightweight (missile + launch tube < 9 kg/19.84 lbs.)
  • Day and night operation
  • System weight (sight and two munitions) < 20 kg/44.09 lbs.
  • Missile weight < 7 kg/15.43 lbs.
  • Modular architecture

Griffin Missile Exercise

U.S. Navy coastal patrol ships and U.S. Coast Guard patrol boats conducted an annual test of the MK-60 Griffin guided-missile system in the Arabian Gulf December 10-14.

ARABIAN GULF (December 11, 2019) A Griffin missile is launched from the patrol coastal ship USS Hurricane (PC-3) during a test of the MK-60 Griffin guided-missile system. The exercise demonstrated a proven capability for the ships to defend against small boat threats and ensure maritime security through key chokepoints in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility, connecting the Mediterranean and the Pacific through the western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points (Photo by Specialist Terrell Sherman)

The annual exercise was conducted with the improved Griffin Missile System (GMS) to test ship interoperability, weapon tactics employment, and new system upgrades.

«This system improves combat capability on our 10 Patrol Craft, ready to work with regional partners and respond to threats; able to maneuver and strike from a distance», said Vice Admiral Jim Malloy, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/Commander, U.S 5th Fleet.

Exercise participates included Forward Deployed Naval Forces (FDNF) patrol coastal ships USS Sirocco (PC-6), USS Tempest (PC-2), USS Squall (PC-7), USS Hurricane (PC-3), USS Whirlwind (PC-11) and island class patrol boats USCGC Adak (WPB-1333), USCGC Aquidneck (WPB-1309), and USCGC Baranof (WPB-1318).

The ships also conducted live fire exercises with their Mark-38 25-mm machine guns and other crew served weapons to maintain operator proficiency and test new equipment upgrades for future missions.

«The data collected from this year’s exercise will help improve the GMS to provide increased lethality amongst our FDNF ships», Lieutenant commander Ronald Jenkins, commanding officer of the USS Sirocco (PC-6). «Each participating ship can apply lessons learned to sharpen individual tactics and procedures to increase precision in weapons employment».

Eager to integrate and demonstrate the upgraded GMS into their ships’ systems, each captain was impressed with its capabilities and the crew’s performance during the exercise.

«This year’s Fire Exercise (FIREX) was an outstanding opportunity for the crews to test our skills and the capabilities of one of our primary weapons systems», said Lieutenant commander Dale Tourtelotte of the USS Hurricane (PC-3). «It was exciting to see my crew and the various technical experts come together and execute the FIREX successfully».

U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations encompasses about 2.5 million square miles of water area and includes the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean. The expanse is comprised of 20 countries and includes three critical choke points at the Strait of Hormuz, the Suez Canal and the Strait of Bab al Mandeb at the southern tip of Yemen.

«This exercise addresses a validated requirement to out-pace and decisively defeat small boat threats at a distance», said Vice Admiral Malloy. «We can hold any attacker at risk by employing speed combined with accurate striking power», said Vice Admiral Malloy.

 

MK-60 Griffin Missile System (GMS)

The MK-60 is a surface-to-surface missile system installed for ship self-defense to counter small boat threats.

The Mark-60 GMS is being installed aboard cyclone class ships – Patrol Coastal (PC) combatant. Ten ships will be forward deployed, assigned to Commander, 5th Fleet located in Manama, Bahrain, and installed with the GMS at program completion. Assistant secretary of the Navy (Research, Development, and Acquisition) approved the integration and deployment of the Griffin Missile onboard PC platforms as part of a Rapid Deployment Capability (RDC) leveraging existing Government Off-The-Shelf (GOTS), Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) and Non-Developmental Items (NDI). The RDC for the GMS was approved in June 2011 and achieved Initial Operational Capability (IOC) in October 2013. PC combatants with GMS installed possess a layered small boat defense capability building upon the point defense provided with the Mark-38 gun weapon system. The Mark-60 GMS consists of the following system components: Mark-4 Battle Management System (BMS), Mark-208 griffin launcher module, AN/SSQ-133 BRITE Star II Electro-Optical and InfraRed (EO/IR), Laser Range Finder (LRF) and Linear Displacement (LD) sensor and the BGM-176B Griffin B All-Up-Round (AUR).

 

General Characteristics

Primary Function Surface-to-surface missile system for ship self-defense against small boat threats
Contractor Griffin B AUR contractor is Raytheon Missile Systems

BS II contractor is FLIR Systems Inc.

BMS is a Naval Surface Warfare Center- Dahlgren Division (NSWC DD) GOTS

GLM is a NSWC DD GOTS

Date Deployed 2013
Range ~ 3.0 NM/3.45 miles/5.56 km (effective range)
Type Fire Single launch, multiple salvo
Caliber 5 inch/12.7 cm
Guidance System Semi-Active Lock (SAL)
Platforms USS Tempest (PC 2), Manama, Bahrain

USS Hurricane (PC 3), Manama, Bahrain

USS Monsoon (PC 4), Manama, Bahrain

USS Typhoon (PC 5), Manama, Bahrain

USS Sirocco (PC 6), Manama, Bahrain

USS Squall (PC 7), Manama, Bahrain

USS Chinook (PC 9), Manama, Bahrain

USS Firebolt (PC 10), Manama, Bahrain

USS Whirlwind (PC 11), Manama, Bahrain

USS Thunderbolt (PC 12), Manama, Bahrain

 

Major trials milestone

MBDA has successfully completed a series of trials of the Common Anti-Air Modular Missile Extended Range (CAMM-ER) air defence missile, validating the high-performance of the system.

CAMM-ER completes major trials milestone

The trials have been conducted in the past months and saw a series of successful firings of CAMM-ER that proved the performance of the missile at extended ranges and high altitudes while conducting a number of challenging manoeuvres.

CAMM-ER is the extended range member of the new-generation CAMM air defence family of weapons. All members of the CAMM family share the same cutting-edge active radar seeker and soft-launch system, with CAMM-ER featuring a larger rocket motor to provide extended range out beyond 40 km/25 miles.

CAMM and CAMM-ER form the basis for MBDA’s Enhanced Modular Air Defence Solutions (EMADS) offering. EMADS brings together best-of-breed systems and technologies from across MBDA’s European base to save time, development costs and provide a flexible system for air defence provision. CAMM-ER, meant to replace the existing Aspide munition, is expected to be integrated in the Air Defence system of the Italian Air Force and Italian Army. CAMM-based air defence systems are known as Land Ceptor and Sea Ceptor by the British Army and Royal Navy. The Italian Navy is also evaluating how to include the missile family with its future surface combatants.

MBDA has successfully completed a series of trials of the CAMM-ER air defence missile, validating the high-performance of the system

SPIKE Missile

November 18, 2019 – Eurospike, a joint venture between Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd., Diehl Defence GmbH & Rheinmetall Electronics GmbH has signed a multi-year framework contract for the supply of SPIKE (also known as Mehrrollenfähige Leichte Lenkflugkörpersystem – Multirole-capable Light Anti-tank Missile System, MELLS in Germany) Missiles & launchers to the German Army. The missiles and launchers will be manufactured in Germany by local German companies, in keeping with RAFAEL’s global policy of teaming up with domestic industry, resulting in knowledge transfer and local job creation.

German Army acquires 1500 SPIKE missiles and hundreds of launchers

The contract was signed by representatives from Eurospike and Bundesamt für Ausrüstung, Informationstechnik und Nutzung der Bundeswehr (BAAINBw) in a ceremony that took place at the beginning of November in the offices of the German MOD (BAAINBw) in Koblenz Germany.

As part of the framework contract, the first order was made for the supply of 1500 SPIKE rounds, as well as hundreds of RAFAEL’S new ICLU (Integrated Control Launch Unit) dismounted missile launchers.

The multi-year framework contract will allow the Bundeswehr to continue procuring additional SPIKE Missiles in the next few years to reach its goal of high launcher-to-missile ratio.

The German Army is already currently using both the dismounted portable SPIKE (MELLS) launcher as well the as the vehicle-mounted launcher on the German army Puma, Marder & Wiesel.

SPIKE is a cutting-edge precise, multi-platform, multi-mission and multi-range electro-optical missile Family, with capabilities of fire-and-forget, as well as fire, observe and update, allowing attack of hidden targets.

With 33 SPIKE missile users around the world, Germany is among 19 other SPIKE users in the EU and NATO. More than 30,000 SPIKE missiles have been supplied worldwide to-date, with over 5500 SPIKE missile firings, both in training and in combat.

Moshe Elazar, EVP, Head of RAFAEL’s Land and Naval Division: «This is a significant contract for Eurospike and thus for RAFAEL, as a leading supplier of 5th generation ATGM in the world. It will undoubtedly cement the German Army’s position as one of the strongest ATGM forces in Europe. The SPIKE missile and launcher cross-nation commonality enables the nations to manage joint SPIKE missile stocks, create joint procurement and maintain mutual support. In combination with local production within Europe by Eurospike, SPIKE is a truly common European missile».

Rafael’s SPIKE LR2 5th Gen tactical multipurpose, multi-platform missile is engaging a tank in high trajectory top attack

Solid State Radar

The world’s latest generation solid-state radar technology, formerly known as Lockheed Martin’s Solid State Radar (LM SSR), has been designated as AN/SPY-7(V)1 by the United States government. The designation of AN/SPY-7(V)1 is a direct reflection of the maturity and capability of Lockheed Martin’s solid-state radar technology.

Lockheed Martin’s Solid State Radar has been designated as AN/SPY-7(V)1 by the United States government. SPY-7 and Aegis Ashore will defend against ballistic missile threats and provide continuous protection of Japan

The Japanese Ministry of Defense selected AN/SPY-7(V)1 for two planned Aegis Ashore installations in 2018. Additionally, variants of AN/SPY-7(V)1 will be used by the Royal Canadian Navy for the Canadian Surface Combatant program and the Spanish Navy for the upcoming F-110 frigate program.

«Lockheed Martin’s solid state solution meets the mission now and is flexible to adapt to the evolving threats of the future», said Paul Lemmo, vice president and general manager at Lockheed Martin. «This new designation solidifies our ability to provide the most technically advanced capabilities our warfighters require».

AN/SPY-7(V)1 is a modular and scalable solid state radar, allowing for continuous surveillance and protection. It will be fully integrated with the Aegis Combat System, providing advanced technology for future ship classes.

With 50 years of constant evolution and innovation, Lockheed Martin has a trusted history of producing, integrating and delivering radars and combat systems. Lockheed Martin and the Aegis Combat System continue to keep pace with evolving integrated air and missile threats, introducing new capabilities to create the latest generation of advanced solid state technologies, integrated with the Aegis system, to provide world-class defense and ensure future safety and security.

Missile defence

November 12, 2019, the Council of the European Union gave the green light to the TWISTER (Timely Warning and Interception with Space-based TheatER surveillance) capability project for implementation within the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) framework. This international missile defence project which already includes five European countries, seeks to develop with support from the European Defence Fund a European multi-role interceptor to address emerging threats and be brought into service by 2030.

MBDA ready to meet the challenge of Europe’s missile defence

In addressing this capability gap, the interceptor component of the TWISTER project will ultimately become a key element in the contribution made by European countries to NATO’s territorial, population and armed forces defence mission while meeting the European Union’s level of ambition in the field of missile defence. By rationalising and pooling capabilities, the PESCO Member States will benefit from an operational capability in a class of its own and guarantee their strategic autonomy and freedom of action.

This new endo-atmospheric interceptor will address a wide range of threats including, manoeuvring ballistic missiles with intermediate ranges, hypersonic or high-supersonic cruise missiles, hypersonic gliders, and more conventional targets such as next-generation fighter aircraft. This Interceptor will integrate existing and future land and naval systems.

MBDA is committed to meeting this need through next generation technologies and architectures building on national and company funded studies which have been conducted over the past five years. MBDA will also draw on its experience of industrial cooperation at European level, its long heritage of leading complex air defence programmes and its solid industrial relationships across the wider European landscape to establish a skills and capability led team.

«MBDA enthusiastically welcomes the Council’s decision», says MBDA CEO Éric Béranger, «and will commit all its energy and extensive missile defence experience in future collaborative and cross-border R&T and R&D activities. This next generation interceptor project provides a unique opportunity for Europeans to converge their efforts in the field of missile defence and to secure sovereignty in an area vital to their strategic autonomy. These high-end interceptors are technologically demanding and their development will represent a qualitative leap forward for Europe’s entire missile sector. Our industrial model as a European champion gives us the critical mass necessary to deliver this challenging project through cooperation with our European industrial partners».

The TWISTER project is the second missile systems project to be supported under the new European defence agenda following the Beyond Line Of Sight (BLOS) capability programme which became part of PESCO in November 2018 and for which MBDA has put forward its 5th generation ground combat system., the only solution under European design authority that gives front-line combat units the ability to fire beyond the direct line of sight while maintaining man-in-the-loop decision-making.

LTAMDS radar

Raytheon Company has been selected to provide the U.S. Army with their next generation, 360-degree capable radar – the Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor (LTAMDS). Raytheon will receive more than $384 million to deliver six production representative units of the advanced LTAMDS radar under an Other Transactional Authority U.S. Army agreement. LTAMDS is a new radar that will ultimately replace the current U.S. Army’s Patriot radars. It will operate on the Army’s Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) network.

The U.S. Army’s new LTAMDS radar design, unveiled in a Raytheon mock-up

«Our clean-sheet approach to LTAMDS reinforces Raytheon’s position as the world’s premier air and missile defense radar capability provider», said Ralph Acaba, President of Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems. «Patriot is the world’s leading, combat-proven air and missile defense system, and 17 nations have procured 240 radars from Raytheon. With the U.S. Army’s approval, these Patriot partners will have the opportunity to add Active Electronic Scanned Array, 360-degree capability to their inventory, extending the life of their systems for many decades».

Raytheon’s winning LTAMDS solution is a 360-degree, Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar powered by Raytheon-manufactured Gallium Nitride (GaN), a substance that strengthens the radar signal and enhances its sensitivity. Over the past two decades, Raytheon has invested significantly in AESA GaN technology and advanced manufacturing capability, positioning the company as the global leader in advanced GaN technology and product development.

«For decades, we have invested in radar technology to address our customer’s most pressing needs. As a result, we’ve developed the ability and capacity to provide the Army an advanced capability on an accelerated timeline», said Tom Laliberty, vice president of Integrated Air and Missile Defense for Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems. «Our in-house advanced manufacturing capability and strong supplier network will enable us to meet the Army’s urgent material release requirement».

Raytheon assembled a team of suppliers who played a strategic role in developing Raytheon’s LTAMDS solution. They are:

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

Lithuanian NASAMS

In the end of September specialists of the Lithuanian Air Force began tests of the NASAMS medium-range air defence system made for the Lithuanian Air Force at the Kongsberg factory in Norway. Components of the weaponry system produced specifically for the Lithuanian Air Force will be first tested at the factor and then put to field trials when the air defence systems are brought to Lithuania.

Lithuania has begun testing two batteries of NASAMS medium-range air-defense missiles it ordered for 110 million euros in 2017; Lithuania’s system uses second-hand launchers from the Norwegian army and new AMRAAM missiles from the US (LT MoD photo)

The trials will assess technical and tactical conformity of NASAMS components to the determined weaponry specification. The tests will run until February 2020 and test all the NASAMS components – missile launchers, radars, electro-optical sensors, components of integration with the RBS70 short-range air defence systems, communication, and control components, and vehicles.

The NASAMS medium-range air defence system is planned to be delivered to Lithuania by the end of 2020.

Once the systems are delivered, specialist operator training will begin at the Lithuanian Air Force Air Defence Battalion.

The contract for procuring the NSAMS mid-range air defence system for the Lithuanian Air Force was signed by the Ministry of National Defence and Norway’s Kongsberg NASAMS manufacturer on 26 October 2017.

For the sum of EUR 110 million, equipment for two air defence batteries and logistical maintenance package, as well as training for operators and maintenance personnel of the system are bought from Norwegian NASAMS manufacturer Kongsberg.

Upon the completion of the project, Lithuania will have acquired a complete and integrated medium range air defence capability.

«Protected airspace is one of the main conditions necessary for deployment of allies into the region in case of necessity», Minister of National Defence Raimundas Karoblis says. «NASAMS is an assembled and integrated medium-range air defence capability we needed and did not have till present. This procurement partly fills one of the biggest gaps in national defence – airspace protection».

The system procured by Lithuania is new, except for the launchers that are pre-used by the Norwegian Armed Forces and currently upgraded to manufacturer’s parameters. The systems procured from Norway use U.S.-made AMRAAM aircraft defence missiles capable of destroying aircraft and missiles of an adversary several tens of kilometres away. All the equipment is planned to be fully delivered to Lithuania, personnel trained, and all the components integrated into a system capable of completing air defence tasks: monitor and control air space, issue warning to ground-based units about air threats, and to destroy targets if necessary.

The MoD Work Group analysed mid-range air defence systems available on the market to implement the NASAMS procurement project. Potential procurements were assessed according to such criteria as efficiency, compatibility with systems of NATO allies, maintenance and repair cost, times of delivery, etc. NASAMS was selected as the closest choice to the requirement and criteria formulated.

Lithuanian Air Force experts begin testing NASAMS medium-range air defence system