Category Archives: Rocket

Airspace Threat Detection

As the world’s most capable and flexible ground based multi-function long-range radar, Lockheed Martin’s TPY-4 has received its official U.S. Government nomenclature – AN/TPY-4(V)1 – officially marking the radar’s maturity and its ability to deliver fully-digital technology, and therefore setting a new standard for the future of radars.

AN/TPY-4(V)1
TPY-4 is a fully digital, software-defined sensor architecture, allowing users to maintain ongoing surveillance throughout the mission (Photo courtesy Lockheed Martin)

«Our team has worked diligently to deliver this advanced radar supporting domestic and international air surveillance requirements», said Chandra Marshall, vice president and general manager at Lockheed Martin. «This designation represents our commitment to furthering our radar capabilities to specifically overmatch emerging, complex, and advanced threats».

Lockheed Martin’s specialized team has spent more than 10 years and more than $100 million in research & development funds for the TPY-4 radar, including the construction, operation, and testing of prototype radar systems. TPY-4 offers multi-mission capabilities, such as early warning, situational awareness, tactical ballistic missile surveillance and air defense. It also integrates the latest mature commercial technologies to create a revolutionary radar architecture.

 

Recent Testing Achievements

The first TPY-4 is well ahead of any competition and already in production to be unveiled later this year. The radar’s production sub-assemblies are passing environmental and performance tests, attributed to the foundation built and validated under Lockheed Martin’s investment and the commonality with the U.S. Army’s Sentinel A4 radar. The radar’s test results continue to surpass model predictions, as validated by open air testing, furthering the qualification of this advanced radar.

 

The TPY-4 Radar: A Fully Digital Solution for Today’s and Tomorrow’s Threats

TPY-4 is an internationally available, transportable, multi-mission radar that can operate in contested RF environments and provide the warfighter an ability to detect and track threats better than any previous radar available today. It accomplishes this with a fully digital, software-defined sensor architecture, allowing users to maintain ongoing surveillance throughout the mission.

That’s because the TPY-4 radar users are not locked by the system’s hardware. Users have the ability to transmit and receive digitally, allowing for more enhanced target identification and classification. Earlier radars may have some level of digitization, but Lockheed Martin’s software-defined TPY-4 radar is digital at every element and across the entire architecture. Users don’t have to account for downtime for time-consuming actions, like hardware upgrades or manual data transfers.

«Our digital transmitter and receiver architecture provides flexibility to adjust performance for evolving missions, threats, and environments», said Rick Herodes, Lockheed Martin’s Radar and Sensor System’s Ground Based Air Surveillance program director. «TPY-4 provides unprecedented flexibility through software updates without invasive or time-consuming architectural redesigns, therefore making it the most effective risk management solution for national defense».

 

Lockheed Martin Radar Family History

TPY-4 was developed to include all the experience that Lockheed Martin’s radar product family offers. The technology investments include Gallium Nitride (GaN), which Lockheed Martin has been delivering worldwide since 2017, providing greater efficiency and improved reliability as compared to legacy systems.

Lockheed Martin’s long range and medium range surveillance radars have set the industry standard for ground-based air surveillance for decades. With more than 60 years of experience developing and delivering ground-based radar solutions to its customers around the world, Lockheed Martin has a long history of high-performing, high-reliability radar systems.

Prototype Sensor

Raytheon Intelligence & Space (RI&S), a Raytheon Technologies business, has received an award through an Other Transaction Agreement (OTA) with the Consortium Management Group, Inc., on behalf of the Consortium for Command, Control and Communications in Cyberspace (C5) to demonstrate, develop, build and integrate prototype sensors for the U.S. Army’s next generation airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance system, called High-Accuracy Detection and Exploitation System, or HADES.

HADES
Raytheon Intelligence & Space to provide prototype sensor for U.S. Army’s HADES

«In future peer-to-peer conflicts, long-distance sensing from very high altitudes will be key to enabling our forces to achieve their objectives for long-range, precision fires», said Michael Fisher, vice president and general manager of Raytheon Applied Signal Technology (AST) at RI&S.

The Other Transaction Authority agreement is for Phase 1 of the HADES Multi-Domain Sensing System, or MDSS, program to provide electronic intelligence and communications intelligence sensors. RI&S will demonstrate system capabilities that will help inform the design, upgrades and prototype fabrication of future phases of the program.

«Raytheon AST has a 35-plus year history of developing intelligence-collection sensors, as well as high-speed signal processing», said Fisher. «And solutions across RI&S cover a broad range of mission requirements that could define the future HADES program».

HADES will be a globally deployable platform that provides multi-faceted sensing capabilities at higher altitudes and longer ranges, and with longer endurance than current platforms.

Effort sponsored by the U.S. Government under Other Transaction number W15QKN-17-9-5555 between the Consortium Management Group, Inc., and the Government. The U.S. Government is authorized to reproduce and distribute reprints for Government purposes notwithstanding any copyright notation thereon.

The views and conclusions contained herein are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as necessarily representing the official policies or endorsements, either expressed or implied, of the U.S. Government.

Integration and Validation

Northrop Grumman Corporation delivered the Arrays at Commercial Timescales Integration and Validation (ACT-IV) system to the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The system is based on an advanced digital Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) that completed multiple successful demonstrations and acceptance testing at Northrop Grumman test facilities.

ACT-IV
Northrop Grumman tests its Arrays at Commercial Timescales Integration and Validation (ACT-IV) digital AESA system for the AFRL and DARPA at the company radar range in Linthicum, Maryland (Source: Northrop Grumman)

«The development of the ACT-IV system is a breakthrough in AESA performance and marks an important milestone in the nation’s transition to digitally reprogrammable multifunction Radio Frequency (RF) systems», said William Phillips, director, multifunction systems, Northrop Grumman. «The new ACT-IV capabilities have the agility to defeat complex emerging threats and will be used to enhance the next generation of integrated circuits and AESAs that are currently in our digital AESA product pipeline».

ACT-IV is one of the first multifunction systems based on a digital AESA using the semiconductor devices developed on the DARPA Arrays at Commercial Timescales (ACT) program. By applying the flexibility of the digital AESA, the ACT-IV system can perform radar, electronic warfare and communication functions simultaneously by controlling a large number of independent digital transmit/receive channels. The agility of the digital AESA was demonstrated during multiple demonstrations at the Northrop Grumman test range and will enable future warfighters to quickly adapt to new threats, control the electromagnetic spectrum, and connect to tactical networks in support of distributed operations.

The ACT-IV system will be a foundational research asset for the Department of Defense’s multi-service research initiative for digital radars and multifunction systems. This initiative will support a community of researchers that are developing new algorithms and software to explore the possibilities of next generation digital AESAs for national security missions.

The algorithms, software and capabilities developed on ACT-IV will transition into next generation multifunction RF systems to support advanced development programs throughout the Department of Defense.

«This delivery is the culmination of the close collaboration between the teams at AFRL, DARPA and Northrop Grumman», said Doctor Bae-Ian Wu, ACT-IV project lead, Sensors Directorate, AFRL. «The ACT-IV system is being prepared for initial testing by the AFRL Sensors Directorate as part of a strategic investment to develop and test the technologies for multifunction digital phased array systems in an open-architecture environment for the larger DoD community».

Northrop Grumman is the industry leader in developing mission-capable, cost-efficient, open-architecture and multi-function radar and sensor systems to observe, orient and act across all domains – land, sea, air and space. They provide the joint forces with the intelligence they need to operate safely in today’s multi-domain operational environment.

Northrop Grumman solves the toughest problems in space, aeronautics, defense and cyberspace to meet the ever evolving needs of our customers worldwide. Our 90,000 employees define possible every day using science, technology and engineering to create and deliver advanced systems, products and services.

Milestone C

The U.S. Navy’s Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile – Extended Range (AARGM-ER) received Milestone C (MS-C) approval August 23, allowing the program to move into its first phase of production.

AARGM-ER
The U.S. Navy’s Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile-Extended Range (AARGM-ER) completes its first live fire event July 19 off the coast of Point Mugu Sea Test Range in California (U.S. Navy photo)

The U.S. Navy plans to award the first two low-rate initial production lots over the next several months.

«The combined government/industry team has worked tirelessly over the last few years to reach this milestone», said Captain Alex Dutko, Direct and Time Sensitive Strike (PMA-242) program manager. «We look forward to getting this new weapon with its increased capability and lethality out to the fleet as soon as possible».

The MS-C decision comes just over two years after the Navy awarded the Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) contract to its prime contractor, Northrop Grumman. The team conducted the first live-fire event in July to verify system integration and rocket motor performance, as well as initiate modeling and simulation validation.

Captive and live fire flight testing is planned to continue through 2022 and Initial Operational Capability (IOC) is planned for 2023.

The U.S. Navy is integrating AARGM-ER on the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler, and it will be compatible for integration on the F-35 Lightning II. By leveraging the U.S. Navy’s AARGM program, the AARGM-ER with a new rocket motor and warhead will provide advanced capability to detect and engage enemy air defense systems.

Large Scale Exercise

The U.S. Navy/Marine Corps Expeditionary Ship Interdiction System (NMESIS) successfully hit its target in support of Marine Corps Forces, Pacific, during Large Scale Exercise 21 (LSE 21) August 15, 2021. The exercise showcased the U.S. maritime forces’ ability to deliver lethal, integrated all-domain naval power.

NMESIS
KAUAI, Hawaii – A Naval Strike Missile streaks out to sea before striking a naval target ship, August 15, 2021, aboard Pacific Missile Range Facility Barking Sands, Hawaii. The missile flew more than 100 nautical miles/115 miles/185 km before finding its mark. The live-fire sinking exercise demonstrated a Marine fires expeditionary advanced base’s ability to sense, target and strike a target at sea, providing sea control or contributing to sea denial in fleet operations. The Marine Corps’ Force Design 2030 centers on Marines providing long-range precision strike capabilities as a stand-in force during littoral operations in a contested environment (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Corporal Dillon Buck, released)

LSE 21 was a live, virtual and constructive scenario-driven, globally-integrated exercise with activities spanning 17 time zones. LSE 21 applied and assessed developmental warfighting concepts that will define how the future U.S. Navy and Marine Corps compete, respond to crises, fight and win in conflict.

The Marine Corps’ NMESIS will provide the Marine Littoral Regiment with ground based anti-ship capability to facilitate sea denial and control while persisting within the enemy’s weapons engagement-zone, and LSE 21 provided a venue for the program team to validate some of those concepts.

«This scenario is representative of the real-world challenges and missions the Navy and Marine Corps will be facing together in the future», said Brigadier General A.J. Pasagian, commander of Marine Corps Systems Command (MCSC). «This exercise also provided an opportunity for us to work alongside our service partners to refine Force Design 2030 modernization concepts».

SINKEX, the exercise scenario involving NMESIS, provided a testing environment for new and developing technologies to connect, locate, identify, target and destroy adversary threats in all domains, culminating in the live-fire demonstration of the naval strike missile against a sea-based target. During the exercise, forward-deployed forces on expeditionary advanced bases detected and, after joint command and control collaboration with other U.S. forces, responded to a ship-based adversary. Simultaneous impacts from multiple, dispersed weapons systems and platforms across different U.S. services – including NMESIS – engaged the threat.

NMESIS integrates established, proven sub-systems, such as the Joint Lightweight Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) Chassis, the Naval Strike Missile (NSM) and the Fire Control System used by the Navy for NSM.

«From an acquisition perspective, NMESIS started a little over two years ago», said Joe McPherson, long range fires program manager at MCSC. «We’ve been able to rapidly move on developing and fielding this system because we’re leveraging existing NSM and JLTV subsystems».

Because NMESIS is not yet a fielded capability, engineers from MCSC managed the fire control piece of the system during the exercise. Marines, however, were able to practice maneuvering the system and validating the system’s interoperability with their Naval and Air Force partners.

«This week was very successful», said McPherson. «In addition to the two live fire shots that hit the target, we also successfully deployed the system aboard the Marine Corps’ primary transport systems, the C130 Hercules and Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC)».

Though not associated with its program development, the NMESIS transportability and mobility demonstration serves an important role in developing tactics, techniques and procedures related to this critical capability, said McPherson.

MCSC is developing and fielding new anti-surface warfare weapons capabilities, including NMESIS, on pace to support Force Design 2030 objectives. These new capabilities contribute to the Fleet’s ability to achieve sea control, sea denial and defense against adversary amphibious force missions.

«This exercise gave us an opportunity to not only measure, but also validate the concepts for the Marine Corps’ anti-ship capability, which is one of the most important avenues of the Commandant’s Force Design 2030», said Lieutenant Colonel Ryan Collins, combat integration office for artillery and fires at Marine Corps Combat Development Directorate, Combat Development and Integration. «I think the successful launches of the missile will help us clarify the path forward as we move to fulfill the Commandant’s 2030 vision, and giving the Marine Corps a transformative anti-ship capability».

Exercises such as LSE 21 increase maritime interoperability and the ability to project American power at home and around the world.

NMESIS
Marine Corps successfully demonstrates NMESIS during LSE 21

AIR6500 Phase 1

Canberra, Australia, 5 August 2021, Lockheed Martin Australia, welcomed today’s announcement by the Minister for Defence, The Hon Peter Dutton MP, and the Minister for Defence Industry, The Hon Melissa Price MP, on the Government’s official down selection of Lockheed Martin Australia, as one of the two primes selected, to participate in the Royal Australian Air Force’s AIR6500 Phase 1 Project (AIR6500-1): Competitive Evaluation Process Stage 2 (CEPS2).

AIR6500
AIR6500 will connect assets across air, land, sea, cyber and space for enhanced defence against potential threats to national security

AIR6500-1 will provide the Australian Defence Force (ADF) with a Joint Air Battle Management System that will form the architecture at the core of the ADF’s future Integrated Air and Missile Defence (IAMD) capability. This will provide greater situational awareness and defence against increasingly advanced air and missile threats, as well as give the ADF increased levels of interoperability with coalition partners.

Joe North, Chief Executive Lockheed Martin Australia and New Zealand said, «Today’s announcement marks the next step in AIR6500-1 to work in partnership with the Australian Defence Force and industry partners to support the Royal Australian Air Force’s vision to transform the Air Force into a next-gen-enabled force through delivering a sovereign highly advanced Joint Air Battle Management System to protect Australia’s security».

«Since 2016, we have been highly committed to supporting the AIR6500-1 project. Our Lockheed Martin Australia AIR6500-1 team has steadily grown over this time to over 80 Australians in Adelaide, Canberra and Williamtown».

«Critical to that effort has been our focus on proactively engaging and establishing important partnerships with Australian industry to identify and invest in ‘best of breed’ local capabilities to deliver a truly sovereign capability solution for Australia», said Mr. North.

Lockheed Martin Australia will continue partnering with industry, academia and government to develop, integrate, build, and sustain future technologies that can be integrated into an open architecture framework to support AIR6500-1. This approach will ensure innovative small to medium Australian high-tech businesses remain at the core of shaping Australia’s future defence capabilities.

«We look forward to collaborating with Australian industry and the Royal Australian Air Force to progress the AIR6500-1 solution as part of the CEPS2. We would like to congratulate Northrop Grumman for also being down selected for the CEPS2», said Mr. North.

Steve Froelich, Lockheed Martin Australia AIR6500 Program Executive reflected that today’s AIR6500-1 announcement will set new standards for Joint All Domain Operations. He said «AIR6500-1 will make it possible to combine Australia’s integrated battlespace with the U.S and allied forces, ensuring greater situational awareness and increased interoperability for our military forces to combat evolving threats across the region».

Lockheed Martin Australia actively supports an Australian sovereign defence capability which sees a highly skilled workforce of over 1,200 across Australia who partner with defence and industry to deliver, integrate and sustain advanced technology solutions. In turn, our programs and projects directly support over 6,000 Australian jobs in the advanced manufacturing and high technology defence industry sector.

First Live Fire

The U.S. Navy has successfully completed the first live fire of the Northrop Grumman Corporation AGM-88G Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile Extended Range (AARGM-ER) from a U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet. The test was conducted on July 19 at the Point Mugu Sea Range off the coast of southern California. The missile successfully demonstrated the long range capability of the new missile design.

AARGM-ER
Northrop Grumman’s Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile Extended Range Completes First Successful Missile Live Fire

«The AARGM-ER was successfully launched from the F/A-18 Super Hornet aircraft and met the key test objectives of a first missile live fire event. The government and industry team had great focus and was able to conduct this test event three months earlier than originally envisioned», said Captain A.C. «Count» Dutko, Navy Program Manager for Direct Time Sensitive Strike (PMA-242).

AARGM-ER leverages AARGM with significant improvements in some technology areas.

«Throughout the Engineering and Manufacturing Development phase, Northrop Grumman has demonstrated the ability to deliver this affordable, time-critical capability that will protect and enhance the capability of our U.S. Navy aircrew», said Gordon Turner, vice president, advanced weapons, Northrop Grumman. «Congratulations to the collective Government-Industry team for another successful milestone bringing AARGM-ER one step closer to operational fielding».

AARGM-ER is being integrated on the Navy F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler aircraft as well as the Air Force F-35A Lightning II, Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II, and Navy and Marine Corps F-35C Lightning II aircraft.

Missile seekers

BAE Systems has received a $117 million contract from Lockheed Martin to produce next-generation missile seekers for the Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM). The seeker technology enables LRASM to detect and engage specific maritime targets in contested environments with less dependence on traditional navigation systems. The next-generation seeker design reduces overall missile costs.

LRASM
Next-generation stealth missile seekers improve capability and affordability

«We’re committed to providing affordable systems that deliver unmatched capabilities to the U.S. and its allies», said Bruce Konigsberg, Radio Frequency Sensors product area director at BAE Systems. «We’ve designed efficient seeker systems that are easier to build and test without compromising on performance».

Following design improvements conducted under a Diminishing Sources/Affordability contract, BAE Systems is producing next-generation seekers for Lots 4 and 5 that are more capable and easier to produce, with less-complicated manufacturing processes. The next-generation seekers have replaced obsolescent and limited-availability parts, dramatically reducing the system cost.

The LRASM contract will support missiles for the U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, and U.S. allies through Foreign Military Sales, as well as research, development, test, and evaluation services.

Contested environment

The U.S. Army successfully engaged a cruise missile target in a highly contested electronic attack environment during a developmental flight test using the Northrop Grumman Corporation Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System (IBCS).

IBCS
The latest flight test integrated the widest variety of sensors to date on the IFCN for an IBCS test, including one Marine Corps G/ATOR, two Army Sentinel radars, one Army Patriot radar and two U.S. Air Force F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft

The test at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico demonstrated the integration of IBCS and the U.S. Marine Corps AN/TPS-80 Ground/Air Task-Oriented Radar (G/ATOR) system, also manufactured by Northrop Grumman. The flight test incorporated first-time live testing and demonstration of a Joint Track Manager Capability (JTMC) which provided a bridge between IBCS and the Navy’s Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC), enabling the sharing of G/ATOR track data on the IBCS Integrated Fire Control Network (IFCN). With support from Lockheed Martin, the flight test architecture also incorporated two F-35 Lightning II combat aircraft integrated on the IFCN with on board sensors contributing to the IBCS developed joint composite track used to perform the engagement.

«The integration of additional sensors from multiple services continues to show the power inherent in the IBCS architecture and design to incorporate and integrate joint sensors across multiple domains», said Christine Harbison, vice president and general manager, combat systems and mission readiness, Northrop Grumman. «By enabling joint operation and utilizing multiple sensors operating in various bands, IBCS was able to operate through the electronic attack environment so soldiers can identify, track and ultimately intercept the threat».

Two surrogate cruise missiles were launched in the test, one performing the electronic attack mission to disrupt radar performance, and the other flying a threat profile targeting friendly assets. Soldiers of the 3-6 Air and Missile Defense Test Detachment used IBCS to track the surrogate cruise missile targets, identify the threatening missile, and launch a Patriot Advanced Capability Three (PAC-3) interceptor.

The latest flight test success integrated the widest variety of sensors to date on the IFCN for an IBCS test, including one Marine Corps G/ATOR, two Army Sentinel radars, one Army Patriot radar and two U.S. Air Force F-35 fighter aircraft.

The Gallium Nitride-based AN/TPS-80 G/ATOR is a digital, software-defined advanced Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) multi-mission radar that provides comprehensive real time, full-sector, 360-degree situational tracking against a broad array of threats.

This was the eighth of eight successful developmental or operational flight tests performed with the IBCS program. The test was conducted as risk reduction prior to beginning the Initial Operational Test & Evaluation (IOT&E) phase this fall. IOT&E is a comprehensive test of IBCS system performance which will be conducted under realistic operational conditions prior to system employment. The IOT&E informs a Department of Defense and U.S. Army initial operational capability decision.

Northrop Grumman is pioneering joint all-domain command and control with IBCS. The system’s resilient, open, modular, scalable architecture is foundational to deploying a truly integrated network of all available assets in the battlespace, regardless of source, service or domain. IBCS enables the efficient and affordable integration of current and future systems, including assets deployed over IP-enabled networks, counter-UAS systems, 4th- and 5th-generation aircraft, space-based sensors and more. It senses, identifies, tracks and defeats evolving air and missile threats, enabling revolutionary «all-domain, every sensor, best effector» operations.

Northrop Grumman solves the toughest problems in space, aeronautics, defense and cyberspace to meet the ever evolving needs of our customers worldwide. Our 90,000 employees define possible every day using science, technology and engineering to create and deliver advanced systems, products and services.

Type 45 destroyers

MBDA has been awarded a number of contracts to significantly upgrade the air and missile defence capabilities of the Royal Navy’s six Type 45 destroyers.

CAMM
MBDA’s CAMM to strengthen Air Defence capability of Royal Navy Type 45 destroyers

The work will see CAMM (Common Anti-air Modular Missile) paired with an upgraded Sea Viper Command and Control (C2) system for the first time. CAMM offers both world-leading close-in and local-area air defence, and will complement Aster 30, strengthening the anti-air defence capability of the Royal Navy.

Fitting CAMM onto the Type 45s will give the destroyers a 50% increase in the number of its air defence missiles. Installation will be via 24 additional launcher cells, and the Sea Viper C2 will get a technology upgrade, giving it a major increase in processing power.

The existing 48 Sylver cells on the Type 45 will now be solely for the longer-range Aster 30 missile, which is also subject to a recently announced mid-life refresh. This will see the missile remain in service throughout the life of the Type 45s.

CAMM has already been delivered to both the British Army and the Royal Navy, where it is the interceptor in both Ground-Based Air Defence (GBAD) and Naval-Based Air Defence (NBAD) systems, enabling these services to equip missiles from a shared stockpile.

In service on upgraded Royal Navy Type 23 frigates, CAMM will also be fitted to Type 26 and Type 31 in the future. The CAMM family has proven a rapid success with international customers, with Canada and Brazil among the new users ordering the missile this year.