Category Archives: Rocket

PAC-3 interceptors

The United States and allied military forces will upgrade their missile defense capabilities under a $1.8 billion contract for production and delivery of Lockheed Martin Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) and PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement (PAC-3 MSE) interceptors.

Lockheed Martin receives $1.8 billion contract for PAC-3 missiles
Lockheed Martin receives $1.8 billion contract for PAC-3 missiles

The contract includes deliveries for the U.S. Army and Foreign Military Sales of PAC-3 and PAC-3 MSE interceptors, launcher modification kits and associated equipment.

«PAC-3 and PAC-3 MSE give our customers unmatched, combat-proven hit-to-kill technology to address growing and evolving threats», said Jay Pitman, vice president of PAC-3 programs at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. «PAC-3 and PAC-3 MSE are proven, trusted and reliable interceptors that employ hit-to-kill accuracy, lethality and enhanced safety to address dangers around the world».

The family of PAC-3 missiles are high-velocity interceptors that defend against incoming threats, including tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and aircraft. Thirteen nations – the U.S., Germany, Kuwait, Japan, Qatar, the Republic of Korea, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, the Netherlands, United Arab Emirates, Romania, Poland and Sweden have chosen PAC-3 and PAC-3 MSE to provide missile defense capabilities.

Building on the combat-proven PAC-3, the PAC-3 MSE uses a two-pulse solid rocket motor that increases altitude and range to defend against evolving threats.

Defense Radar-Hawaii

Lockheed Martin was awarded a $585 million contract by the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) to design, develop and deliver its Homeland Defense Radar-Hawaii (HDR-H) in Oahu, Hawaii.

Missile Defense Agency Awards Lockheed Martin Contract To Design, Manufacture And Construct Homeland Defense Radar-Hawaii
Missile Defense Agency Awards Lockheed Martin Contract To Design, Manufacture And Construct Homeland Defense Radar-Hawaii

The HDR-H radar will provide autonomous acquisition and persistent precision tracking and discrimination to optimize the defensive capability of the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) and counter evolving threats.

«Lockheed Martin will leverage the development of our Long-Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR) to provide the lowest risk and best value HDR-H solution to MDA, which includes open, scalable architecture for future growth», said Chandra Marshall, program director for Lockheed Martin’s Missile Defense Radars market segment.

LRDR is currently under construction in Clear, Alaska, and is scheduled for an on-time delivery in 2020. The system’s open architecture design will enable future growth to keep pace with emerging threats.

«LRDR completed a key milestone in August, successfully searching for, acquiring and tracking numerous satellites, known as a closed loop track, confirming our design is complete, mature and ready for full rate production in 2019», said Marshall.

The work for HDR-H will be performed in Moorestown, New Jersey, and Oahu, Hawaii.

As a proven world leader in systems integration and development of air and missile defense systems and technologies, Lockheed Martin delivers high-quality missile defense solutions that protect citizens, critical assets and deployed forces from current and future threats. The company’s experience spans missile design and production, hit-to-kill capabilities, infrared seekers, command and control/battle management, and communications, precision pointing and tracking optics, radar and signal processing, as well as threat-representative targets for missile defense tests.

Ukrainian Missile

The tests of Ukrainian missiles proved that Ukraine is capable of defending its borders in the Black and Azov Seas. This was stated by Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov upon completion of the tests at the military proving ground in the Odesa region.

Following last week’s incidents in the Sea of Azov, the Ukrainian government has carried out a number of missile trials, including this Neptun anti-ship missile, to demonstrate its ability to defend its naval borders (UKR MoD photo)
Following last week’s incidents in the Sea of Azov, the Ukrainian government has carried out a number of missile trials, including this Neptun anti-ship missile, to demonstrate its ability to defend its naval borders (UKR MoD photo)

According to him, significant results were achieved during the tests, in particular, a successful flight test of Ukrainian cruise missiles was carried out, and the coast defense system was worked out with the help of the modernized S-125 missile system.

«The task put today before cruise missiles was to check the range and accuracy of hitting surface targets», – the NSDC Secretary said adding that the target was destroyed at a distance of 280 kilometers.

Mr. Turchynov reported that aviation was involved in checking the results of hitting long-range targets and that a special point on the Snake Island was equipped.

In addition, Mr. Turchynov said that to strengthen coastal defense, the accuracy and reliability of hitting the conditional opponent’s watercraft by the S-125 missile systems, which had undergone a deep modernization at the enterprises of the Ukrainian defense industry, were checked.

«According to the results of the watercraft firing, the upgraded S-125 proved to be effective. There were 8 launches during which 8 surface targets were destroyed. This is a very good result, which proves that these modernized systems are capable of providing reliable protection against aggression both from the air and from the sea, and will significantly enhance the coast defense of the Black Sea and Azov coast», – Mr. Turchynov noticed.

After the tests were completed, the NSDC Secretary held a meeting with the leading developers of missile equipment and the military leadership to determine the priority areas for strengthening defense of the Black Sea-Azov region. The meeting took place in a new command-and-staff mobile special telecommunication complex, which was involved in coordinating missile firing.

Brazilian Missile

According to Defense-aerospace.com, the Brazilian Navy on Tuesday (November 27) launched the first prototype of the National Anti-Ship Missile (Míssil Antinavio Nacional de Superfície, or MANSUP), 300 km/186 miles off the coast of Rio de Janeiro.

The Brazilian Navy corvette Barroso carried out the first development test firing of the MANSUP anti-ship missile, developed by its national industry, on November 27. It is broadly similar to the Exocet Block 2s presently in service (AVIBRAS photo)
The Brazilian Navy corvette Barroso carried out the first development test firing of the MANSUP anti-ship missile, developed by its national industry, on November 27. It is broadly similar to the Exocet Block 2s presently in service (AVIBRAS photo)

The test confirmed the correct functioning of several subsystems, and the need for improvement in some others. Data of its in-flight behavior were recorded by telemetry, also developed in Brazil and, after it is analyzed, will guide the next development steps and launches.

The MANSUP is 5.6 meters/18.4 feet long, weighs about a tonne/2,205 lbs. and accelerates to a speed of 540 knots/621 mph/1,000 km/h in less than seven seconds.

This Strategic Project was started 10 years ago in partnership with several national contractors: AVIBRAS, responsible for the propulsion; SIATT, which develops the guidance system, control and telemetry; OMNISYS, which designs the target detection radar; and the EZUTE Foundation, which assists in coordinating the necessary work.

The data obtained with this launch will allow to continue the evolution of this project developed with exclusively national technology, and which place our country in the select group of manufacturers of missiles of this size.

First Firing

MBDA’s Marte ER anti-ship missile has completed its first firing, successfully passing a major phase in its development.

The Marte ER missile flew for more than 100 km/62 miles/54 NM on a planned trajectory
The Marte ER missile flew for more than 100 km/62 miles/54 NM on a planned trajectory

The firing trial was carried out on 9 November in an Italian test range. The Marte ER missile flew for more than 100 km/62 miles/54 NM on a planned trajectory that included several waypoints and sea skimming flight, successfully testing all flying phases.

Pasquale Di Bartolomeo, Executive Group Director Sales & Business Development and Managing Director MBDA Italia, commented: «This test is a further confirmation of the robustness of the ER version of the Marte family of multi-platform anti-ship missiles that can be launched by ships, helicopters, coastal batteries and fast jets. The Marte family has a strong and successful history both at domestic and international levels: most recently with Marte ER being ordered earlier in 2018 by the Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) for their new NH90 helicopters. Marte is a single product family that can cover several missions, offering our customers a high level of operational flexibility in the area of maritime superiority, a domain where MBDA in Italy has been able throughout its long history not only to maintain but also to grow as well as further develop competencies and know-how».

The Marte ER programme is progressing at full speed in order to meet customers’ requirements. Having completed the 18 months System Definition Phase, 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.

Defense Laser

The Missile Defense Agency awarded Lockheed Martin a nine-month, $25.5 million contract extension to continue development of its Low Power Laser Demonstrator (LPLD) missile interceptor concept. This program, awarded August 31, builds on a 2017 contract to develop an initial LPLD concept.

Lockheed Martin’s Missile Defense Laser Concept Continues Toward Development
Lockheed Martin’s Missile Defense Laser Concept Continues Toward Development

Lockheed Martin’s LPLD concept consists of a fiber laser system on a high-performing, high-altitude airborne platform. LPLD is designed to engage missiles during their boost phase – the short window after launch – which is the ideal time to destroy the threat, before it can deploy multiple warheads and decoys.

Over the course of this contract, Lockheed Martin will mature its LPLD concept to a tailored critical design review phase, which will bring the design to a level that can support full-scale fabrication.

«We have made great progress on our LPLD design, and in this stage, we are particularly focused on maturing our technology for beam control – the ability to keep the laser beam stable and focused at operationally relevant ranges», said Sarah Reeves, vice president for Missile Defense Programs at Lockheed Martin Space. «LPLD is one of many breakthrough capabilities the Missile Defense Agency is pursuing to stay ahead of rapidly-evolving threats, and we’re committed to bringing together Lockheed Martin’s full expertise in directed energy for this important program».

Lockheed Martin expands on advanced technology through its laser device, beam control capabilities, and platform integration – ranging from internal research and development investments in systems like the Advanced Test High Energy Asset (ATHENA) to programs such as the Laser Advancements for Next-generation Compact Environments (LANCE) for the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL).

Continued LPLD development will take place at Lockheed Martin’s Sunnyvale, California campus through July 2019.

As a proven world leader in systems integration and development of air and missile defense systems and technologies, Lockheed Martin delivers high-quality missile defense solutions that protect citizens, critical assets and deployed forces from current and future threats. The company’s experience spans directed energy systems development, missile design and production, hit-to-kill capabilities, infrared seekers, command and control/battle management, and communications, precision pointing and tracking optics, radar and signal processing, as well as threat-representative targets for missile defense tests.

Full Rate Production

The U.S. Navy has awarded Northrop Grumman Corporation a $171 million contract for Lot 7 Full Rate Production (FRP) of the AGM-88E Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM). The contract will deliver advanced capability to U.S. warfighters as well as the Italian Air Force and Royal Australian Air Force to counter the accelerating proliferation of surface-to-air threats.

Northrop Grumman’s Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile impacting a target
Northrop Grumman’s Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile impacting a target

«The rapid proliferation of today’s threats require the most advanced solution to detect and defeat surface-to-air-threats and protect our nation and allies», said Cary Ralston, vice president and general manager, defense electronic systems, Northrop Grumman. «AARGM is an affordable, game-changing solution and we are proud to provide this capability to the warfighter».

AARGM is a supersonic, air-launched tactical missile system, upgrading legacy AGM-88 HARM systems with capability to perform destruction of enemy air defense missions. AARGM is the most advanced system for pilots, with in-cockpit, real-time electronic order of battle situational awareness against today’s modern surface-to-air threats. It is able to rapidly engage traditional and non-traditional advanced land- and sea-based air-defense threats, as well as striking, time-sensitive targets.

AARGM is a U.S. Navy and Italian Air Force international cooperative major acquisition program with the U.S. Navy as the executive agent. AARGM is currently deployed and supporting operational requirements for the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps. The missile is integrated into the weapons systems on the FA-18C/D Hornet, FA-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler aircraft. The Italian Air Force (ItAF) recently completed operational testing of AARGM on their Tornado Electronic Combat and Reconnaissance (ECR) aircraft. A series of flight tests culminated with direct hits on critical air defense threat targets, confirming the operational effectiveness and suitability of AARGM on the Italian Air Force Tornado and allowing the Italian Air Force to transition AARGM into operational squadrons.

Flight Test

The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) and the United States Missile Defense Agency (MDA) completed a successful intercept flight test in cooperation with the U.S. Navy off the coast of Kauai in Hawaii. A Raytheon Company Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) Block IB missile intercepted a ballistic missile target, marking the first time Japan has tested the sophisticated interceptor as announced by MDA.

The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyer Atago launched an SM-3 Block IB air-defense missile for the first time during the latest Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) flight test on September 12 (MDA photo)
The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyer Atago launched an SM-3 Block IB air-defense missile for the first time during the latest Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) flight test on September 12 (MDA photo)

The target missile was launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Hawaii, and the interceptor was launched from the Japanese ship JS Atago (DDG-177), verifying the newest ballistic missile defense engagement capability of the upgraded destroyer. The flight test mission is a significant milestone in missile defense cooperation between Japan and the U.S. Japan currently employs the SM-3 Block IA interceptor, but the IB variant’s improved two-color seeker and upgraded throttling divert and attitude control system enables engagements with a larger set of threats.

«The Standard Missile-3 family consistently demonstrates capability against sophisticated threats, both on land and at sea», said Doctor Taylor W. Lawrence, Raytheon Missile Systems president. «This test underlines the importance of allied ballistic missile defense interoperability and the powerful results we generate when we work together with our allies».

The SM-3 is produced at Raytheon’s Space Factory in Tucson, Arizona, and the company’s integration facility in Huntsville, Alabama.

Upgrade RBS 70

The Ministry of National and the Lithuanian Armed Forces enhances the present air defence capabilities and functionality of the weaponry in their possession by procuring improved missiles and BORC night-capability sights on the basis of a contract signed with Swedish manufacturer Saab. The new procurement will upgrade the RBS 70 short-range air defence capability the Lithuanian Armed Forces currently has.

Lithuanian Armed Forces upgrade RBS 70 short-range air defence system, procure new missiles
Lithuanian Armed Forces upgrade RBS 70 short-range air defence system, procure new missiles

«Enhancement of air defences is one of the key priorities of our defence, therefore we are continuing upgrading our short-range air defence system: the RBS 70 will be improved with night-capability sights and new missiles will be acquired», Minister of National Defence Raimundas Karoblis says.

Lithuania is buying from the Swedish manufacturer RBS 70s of a newer generation greater range, higher altitude coverage and an enhanced effect against armoured targets. With improved missiles the RBS 70 system will be even more effective and dangerous to hostile aircraft, and the advanced BORC night sights will allow soldiers to stay operational during the dark part of the day.

Approximate value of both contracts is EUR 9.7 million (without VAT), the procurement contracts were signed in July.

The improved missiles and night vision equipment will be delivered to the Lithuanian Air Forces starting with 2019.

The Swedish-manufactured RBS 70 missile system is a short-range air defence capability based on control beam, i.e. laser equipment guides the missile. The greatest advantage of RBS 70 is that there has not been electromagnetic equipment so far created in the world capable of producing jamming that could disrupt RBS 70. The RBS 70 in possession of the Air Defence Battalion of the Lithuanian Armed Forces comprises RBS 70 missile systems with Giraffe Mk-IV surveillance radars.

Also, the Lithuanian Ministry of National Defence is strengthening Lithuania’s mid-range air defence capabilities: in October 2017 NASAMS mid-range air defence systems was bought for EUR 110 million from Norwegian enterprise Kongsberg and is expected to be delivered by 2021.

Airspace protection is one of the keys guarantees the allies are able to enter the region if a necessity arises. Upgrading of the possessed air defence capabilities and procurement of new ones is Lithuania’s steps to at least partly fill one of the most important gaps in its defence – airspace protection.

Swedish Patriot

The government of Sweden signed an agreement to purchase Raytheon’s Patriot air and missile defense system from the U.S. Army. The agreement, formally referred to as a Letter of Offer and Acceptance, paves the way for Sweden’s Patriot force to rapidly reach Initial Operational Capability.

The Patriot AESA Gallium Nitride (GaN) radar peers skyward at a test range in Pelham, New Hampshire
The Patriot AESA Gallium Nitride (GaN) radar peers skyward at a test range in Pelham, New Hampshire

«Sweden and 15 other countries trust our Patriot system to defend its citizens, military and sovereignty because Patriot has a proven track record of defeating ballistic missiles and a host of other aerial threats», said Wes Kremer, President of Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems. «Patriot in Sweden will enhance Northern European security and further strengthen the Trans-Atlantic partnership by providing a common approach to Integrated Air and Missile Defense».

Patriot is the backbone of Europe’s defense against ballistic and cruise missiles, advanced aircraft and drones.

European Nations with Patriot: Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, and Spain currently have Patriot. Within the past 12 months Romania and Poland signed Letters of Acceptance for Patriot, becoming the 5th and 6th European nations to procure Raytheon’s Patriot system.

The 16 Patriot Nations are:

  • United States of America;
  • The Netherlands;
  • Germany;
  • Japan;
  • Israel;
  • Kingdom of Saudi Arabia;
  • Kuwait;
  • Taiwan;
  • Greece;
  • Spain;
  • Republic of Korea;
  • United Arab Emirates;
  • Qatar;
  • Romania;
  • Poland;
  • Sweden.