Category Archives: Missile Defense

Next Generation Interceptor

The Northrop Grumman Corporation and Raytheon Technologies Next Generation Interceptor (NGI) team has completed its System Requirements Review (SRR) and is proceeding with initial system design, further risk reduction testing, and critical component qualification activities.

Next Generation Interceptor (NGI)
The Northrop Grumman and Raytheon team complete a major milestone as the work to ensure the Missile Defense Agency’s Next Generation Interceptor is ready to protect the homeland from incoming threats

The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) approved the SRR, which was completed ahead of schedule, and is the first major technical review for the Northrop Grumman and Raytheon Technologies NGI homeland defense interceptor program. This achievement comes after Northrop Grumman and Raytheon Technologies demonstrated its NGI Common Software Factory, which enables rapid development, integration and delivery in a DevSecOps environment.

«We’re leveraging our two decades of performance on the current Ground-Based Interceptor (GBI)», said Scott Lehr, vice president and general manager, launch and missile defense systems, Northrop Grumman. «With our combined workforce, extensive expertise and state-of-the-art facilities, we will deliver a highly capable new interceptor that will protect our nation against long-range missile threats for decades to come».

The Northrop Grumman and Raytheon Technologies team is leveraging high-fidelity model-based systems engineering, and hardware manufacturing in customer-certified facilities. The team is also conducting internally-funded risk reduction hardware development and testing to ensure deployment of NGI in the rapid timeline the nation requires.

«Raytheon is the nation’s provider of kill vehicle payloads that maneuver in space to destroy missile threats, with 47 successful exo-atmospheric intercepts achieved to date», said Tay Fitzgerald, vice president of Strategic Missile Defense, Raytheon Missiles & Defense. «Our digital system design approach gives us high confidence in our solution going into the preliminary design review».

The Northrop Grumman-led NGI team brings flight-proven missile defense experience to the NGI program, including expertise in: ground systems, battle management, command and control, interceptor boost vehicles, kill vehicles, agile processes and certified manufacturing capabilities. The team is committed to delivering a highly capable, affordable and low-risk NGI solution that meets the customer’s schedule and mission requirements.

Aegis Combat System

Raytheon Missiles & Defense’s SPY-6 Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR) attained another milestone when the future USS Jack H. Lucas (DDG-125) achieved «light off» on its Aegis Combat System, marking the beginning of on-board system testing and crew training for the ship.

USS Jack H. Lucas (DDG-125)
The U.S. Navy’s new guided missile destroyer, USS Jack H. Lucas (DDG-125) successfully launched at Huntington Ingalls Industries in Pascagoula, Mississippi, on June 4, 2021, and achieved Light Off on its Aegis Combat System on December 17, 2021. Raytheon Missiles & Defense is working with the shipbuilder to integrate the AN/SPY-6(V)1, also called SPY-6, integrated Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR) onto the ship (Photo: Huntington Ingalls Industries)

«This important milestone kicks off onboard testing and training with naval crews on the SPY-6 radars», said Kim Ernzen, vice president of Naval Power at Raytheon Missiles & Defense. «SPY-6 is the world’s most advanced surface maritime radar, and our team is ready to provide training and support to the Navy through this phase and beyond».

The AN/SPY-6(V) Family of Radars is the newest radar system for the U.S. Navy, performing air and missile defense on seven classes of ships. The SPY-6 family can defend against ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, hostile aircraft and surface ships simultaneously. When compared to legacy radars, SPY-6 will bring new capabilities to the surface fleet, such as advanced electronic warfare protection and enhanced detection abilities.

SPY-6 is scalable and modular to support production for the U.S. and partner nations across all variants. This commonality supports standardized logistics and training for those who work on the radars.

Long-Range Radar

The Missile Defense Agency (MDA), U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) and the Space Force (USSF) marked the completion of construction on the Long-Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR) site at Clear Space Force Station, Alaska, during a ceremony on Monday, December 7, 2021.

Long-Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR)
The Long-Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR) at Clear Space Force Station, Alaska, is a multi-mission, multi-face radar designed to provide search, track and discrimination capability in support of U.S. homeland defense, October 26, 2021

The multi-mission LRDR is designed, for now, to better track incoming ballistic missiles. It combines the capabilities of lower frequency radars – which can track multiple objects in space at long range, but are not able to help warfighters determine which objects are a threat – with the capabilities of higher-frequency radars, which have a more limited field of view but are better able to «discriminate» among multiple objects and figure out what of those is dangerous.

As ballistic missiles are launched and shed portions of themselves along their trajectory – including decoy and countermeasure material – the LRDR will help to determine which of those objects must be targeted by the missile defense system.

When fully operational, the multi-face LRDR – equipped with a 220-degree wide field of view and arrays measuring 60 feet/18.28 meters high by 60 feet/18.28 meters wide – will provide the ability to search, track and discriminate multiple, small objects in space, including all classes of ballistic missiles. Future iterations of the radar’s software will allow it to also track hypersonic missiles.

The information the LRDR provides will increase the effectiveness of the missile defense system and help the U.S. Northern Command better defend the United States.

The capabilities the LRDR provides will also serve as a new kind of deterrent against potential missile attacks by adversaries, said Army Lieutenant General A.C. Roper, the deputy commander of U.S. Northern Command.

«For years, the Department of Defense has subscribed to a mindset of deterrence through punishment – taking advantage of our global response to execute retaliatory strikes», Roper said.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III has challenged the military to instead approach deterrence from a different perspective: deterrence through denial, Roper said.

«It’s a defense designed to give our potential adversaries pause», he said. «It is the type of deterrence that shifts their cost-benefit calculus, providing doubt that an attack will be successful. And the LRDR helps to shift that calculus».

The general told those responsible for designing and building the new LRDR system that they have given potential adversaries something to think about if they’re contemplating an attack on the U.S. homeland.

«This long-range discrimination radar is designed to defend the homeland by providing the unparalleled ability to search, track and discriminate multiple objects simultaneously», Roper said. «This radar provides a much-needed improvement to Northcom’s homeland ballistic missile defense mission, ultimately resulting in more effective and efficient employment of the ground-based interceptors».

Full Operational Capability (FOC) for the LRDR is expected in 2023, Navy Vice Admiral Jon A. Hill, director of the Missile Defense Agency said. Right now, the newly built LRDR will be evaluated and integrated into existing systems.

«This initial delivery is an important step to declare that we’re done with a major construction. We are now fully into the test mode of this radar», Hill said. «That testing is so critical because it pushes you right into the integration, command and control into ground-based midcourse defense. That integration work will be complete and, then, in 2023, we’ll be able to do operational acceptance for Northern Command».

Right now, the primary requirement met by the LRDR is against a ballistic missile threat, but in future iterations of the LRDR, tracking of hypersonic weapons can also be included without significant changes to the system, Hill said.

«That is what the radar filters are designed to go after», Hill said. «To bring in what I call a filter – which means you can then space your tracking and your timing to go to hypersonic – that’s not a big leap … that is a software upgrade, but it is not the driving requirement for LRDR today».

Long-Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR)
The LRDR complex also includes a mission control facility, power plant and maintenance facility, October 24, 2021

Radar for NASAMS

Raytheon Missiles & Defense, a Raytheon Technologies business, introduces GhostEye MR, a new medium-range radar for the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System, or NASAMS. GhostEye MR is on display at the Association of the U.S. Army’s annual meeting and exhibition, in booth #2147 of NASAMS partner Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace.

GhostEye MR
Raytheon Missiles & Defense unveils GhostEye MR, a new medium-range air and missile defense radar for NASAMS

The increased range and altitude coverage provided by GhostEye MR expands NASAMS capability to detect, track and identify enemy aircraft, unmanned aircraft systems, and cruise missile threats. The extended range of this new sensor also maximizes the capabilities of the family of effectors employed by NASAMS.

GhostEye MR is a variant of the Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor (LTAMDS) that the company is building for the U.S. Army. It is a scalable Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar providing 360-degree surveillance and advanced fire control capabilities. Raytheon’s name for the family of radars based on LTAMDS is GhostEye. GhostEye MR is a separate, but concurrent, radar development program funded by Raytheon Missiles & Defense that leverages LTAMDS technology baseline and common manufacturing processes.

«GhostEye MR makes NASAMS even more capable for our current and future customers around the globe», said Tom Laliberty, vice president of Land Warfare & Air Defense, a Raytheon Missiles & Defense business area. «We’re leveraging the best of our technology development from the U.S. Army’s most advanced radar to give the U.S. and our allies a robust sensor that can defend against a wide range of threats».

Building on the progress of the LTAMDS program, GhostEye MR is on an accelerated path to availability. The sensor’s capabilities and performance were tested through a series of modeling and simulation-based threat scenarios. The radar will undergo open air testing in 2022, followed by customer demonstrations.

Raytheon Missiles & Defense, in partnership with Kongsberg Defence and Aerospace, produces and supports NASAMS. The system has been chosen by 12 countries for their air defense needs and has been integrated into the U.S. National Capital Region’s air defense system since 2005. In addition to the U.S., Norway, Finland, Spain, The Netherlands, Oman, Lithuania, Indonesia, Australia, Qatar, Hungary and one undisclosed country have selected NASAMS for defense of their homeland and critical assets.

Raytheon’s GhostEye MR is the latest program in the company’s vast portfolio of sophisticated radar systems, extending a legacy of technological innovation and manufacturing expertise that spans decades. The GhostEye family of radars will enhance the capabilities of U.S. and allies to defend against short, medium, and long-range threats.

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.

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.

Air defence missile

MBDA has successfully completed a firing of the Common Anti-Air Modular Missile Extended Range CAMM-ER air defence missile against a manoeuvring target, confirming the excellent capability of the CAMM family system.

CAMM-ER
MBDA’s CAMM-ER successfully completes major milestone

The trial took place at an Italian firing range. CAMM-ER is the extended range member of the new-generation CAMM air defence family of systems.

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 designed by AVIO to provide extended range out beyond 40 km/24.85 miles.

CAMM-ER was designed to replace the Aspide munition in the Medium Advanced Air Defence System (MAADS) of the Italian Air Force and the GRIFO air defence system of the Italian Army. CAMM-ER is the missile that will be used in the Albatros NG system, which provides an optimized Naval Based Air Defence (NBAD) solution to enhance the defence capabilities of naval fleets.

Artificial Intelligence

The Royal Navy is using Artificial Intelligence (AI) for the first time at sea in a bid to defeat missile attacks.

HMS Lancaster (F229), HMS Dragon (D35) and HMS Argyll (F231)
HMS Lancaster (F229), HMS Dragon (D35) and HMS Argyll (F231)

Leading-edge software is being tested at sea against live missiles during the largest exercise of its type off the coasts of Scotland and Norway.

Involving more than 3,000 military personnel, Formidable Shield tests the ability of NATO warships to detect, track and defeat incoming missiles, from sea-skimming weapons travelling at twice the speed of sound just above the waterline, to ballistic missiles.

Three Royal Navy warships are taking part in the exercise, which runs until early June: destroyer HMS Dragon (D35) and two frigates, Lancaster and HMS Argyll (F231).

HMS Lancaster (F229) and HMS Dragon (D35) are trialing artificial intelligence and machine learning applications which offer a glimpse of the future of air defence at sea.

Experts from the Government’s defence laboratory Dstl and industry partners from Roke, CGI and BAE Systems are using the three-week exercise to test their ‘Startle’ and ‘Sycoiea’ systems.

Startle is designed to help ease the load on sailors monitoring the ‘air picture’ in the operations room by providing real-time recommendations and alerts.

Sycoiea builds upon this and is at the forefront of automated Platform and Force Threat Evaluation Weapon assignment, effectively allowing operations room teams to identify incoming missiles and advise on the best weapon to deal with them more quickly than even the most experienced operator.

Above Water Tactician Leading Seaman Sean Brooks aboard HMS Lancaster (F229) is among those who was impressed by the software.

«I was able identify missile threats more quickly than usual and even outwit the operations room»! he said.

Although experiments with AI have been conducted before, this is the first time it’s been tested against live missiles, said Lancaster’s Weapon Engineer Officer Lieutenant Commander Adam Leveridge.

«Observing Startle and Sycoiea augment the human warfighter in real time against a live supersonic missile threat was truly impressive – a glimpse into our highly-autonomous future».

Alasdair Gilchrist, programme manager for Dstl said it was «imperative» that Britain continued to invest in the combat systems installed on Royal Navy warships to ensure they meet present and future challenges.

«Being able to bring get the AI onto the ships is a massive achievement, and while we can prove the AI works in the labs, actually getting Navy personnel hands on is brilliant», he said.

Lancaster’s Commanding Officer Will Blackett said the scale of Formidable Shield and the assets and technology involved – the latest drones, leading-edge missile systems and sensors – coupled with the best-trained sailors, scientists and technicians made the exercise a hugely-beneficial experience for all.

«The scale of this endeavour is remarkable – NATO can bring some serious firepower to bear when it needs to and it is exciting to be part of the development of future tactics and equipment», he added.

While HMS Lancaster (F229) and HMS Dragon (D35) trial technologies brand new to the Fleet, HMS Argyll (F231) (the first ship in the Navy to be fitted with the Sea Ceptor air defence missile) has been testing upgraded software and developing tactics to push the limits of her Artisan Radar and Sea Ceptor as part of a task group.

«The sheer weight of hardware bought together in this exercise, and the chance to test the teams and systems against real-speed supersonic sea skimming and ballistic targets cannot be underestimated», said Lieutenant Commander Richard Dobson, HMS Argyll’s Principal Warfare Officer.

«It has built the confidence of the team, pushed the boundaries of what these highly capable systems can do, and will help develop our future tactics in missile defence».

Taking a quick break from dodging missiles the three Royal Navy ships found time to form up for a navigational exercise, demonstrating their ability to operate in close proximity to one another whilst conducting flying sorties with a Wildcat helicopter.

WISŁA program

Northrop Grumman Corporation has taken delivery of six shelters that will be outfitted as Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System (IBCS) Engagement Operations Centers (EOC) for Poland. Poland has acquired the U.S. Army IBCS configuration and this delivery supports the production start of the IBCS hardware for Poland’s WISŁA air and missile defense program from Northrop Grumman’s Huntsville Manufacturing Center.

WISŁA
Shelters arrive at the Huntsville Manufacturing Facility where they will be outfitted as IBCS Engagement Operations Centers for Poland

During this production phase, IBCS hardware is installed in the shelters to create functioning EOCs. These IBCS EOCs are integrated with IBCS battle management software that maximizes the combat potential of sensors and weapon systems. Once the integration is complete, the EOCs will undergo an acceptance test prior to delivery to the U.S. government, which in turn will deliver to Poland as part of the foreign military sales contract for WISŁA.

«Receiving these shelters and kicking off production marks a critical milestone on the WISLA program and gets us one step closer to fielding this capability in Poland», said Kenn Todorov, vice president and general manager, combat systems and mission readiness, Northrop Grumman. «Our Huntsville Manufacturing Center production line is ready and equipped to deliver these command centers on time and on budget».

The Huntsville Manufacturing Center has a long heritage supporting large scale manufacturing programs including the Army’s Command Post Platform. Northrop Grumman has successfully developed, integrated and delivered IBCS major end items such as engagement operations centers, the entire command post environment, integrated fire control network relays and plug-and-fight kits that have all been used by U.S. soldiers in highly successful, operationally realistic tests and that warfighters will use once the system is fielded.

The acquisition of IBCS is a major component of Poland’s WISLA air and missile defense modernization program. In March 2018, Poland signed a foreign military sales agreement with the U.S. government to purchase IBCS and became the first international partner country to acquire this transformational capability. By acquiring IBCS, Poland will modernize its air and missile defense forces toward assuring interoperability with U.S. forces and within the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

IBCS is the centerpiece of the U.S. Army’s modernization strategy for air and missile defense to address the changing battlefield. IBCS utilizes multiple sensors and effectors to extend the battlespace, engage threats providing 360° protection, increases survivability by enabling early detection and continuous tracking, and delivers transformational warfighting capabilities to defeat an increasingly complex threat.

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.

ICBM target

The Missile Defense Agency successfully intercepted a Northrop Grumman Corporation built Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) target that was launched during a flight test from the Reagan Test Site in the Kwajalein Atoll.

FTM-44
Company’s ICBM target and its ground control systems contribute to homeland defense test

FTM-44 satisfies a Congressional mandate to demonstrate that the MDA can use the Navy’s Aegis Combat System equipped with the Standard Missile 3 Block IIA (SM-3 IIA) to intercept intercontinental threats.

«As the ICBM target prime contractor for the Missile Defense Agency, we understand how critical it is to launch a realistic threat target to ensure our nation’s defense systems work when called upon», said Scott Lehr, vice president and general manager, launch and missile defense systems, Northrop Grumman. «With this successful test, the MDA has successfully demonstrated critical capabilities for the defense of our country utilizing many of Northrop Grumman’s missile defense capabilities».

Northrop Grumman is also the prime contractor on the Intermediate-Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM) target, which is air-launched from a C-17 aircraft to provide the MDA with flexibility in mission engagement scenarios. To date, the company has supported three ICBM target launches and five IRBM target launches with 18 more on contract for future test missions with the MDA. Northrop Grumman also offers additional short, medium and long-range targets to meet evolving threats.

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.

SM-3 Block IIA Missile Excels in First Ever ICBM Intercept Test

 

ICBM
The MDA successfully intercepted a Northrop Grumman built ICBM target that was launched during a flight test from the Reagan Test Site in the Kwajalein Atoll