Category Archives: Missile Defense


Northrop Grumman Corporation has delivered key Integrated Battle Command System (IBCS) components for Poland’s WISŁA medium range air defense program. With this delivery, IBCS moves closer to being fully fielded as part of Poland’s advanced air and missile defense program.

Polish and American servicemembers inspect the WISŁA relay at Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville, Alabama (Photo Credit: U.S. Army)

The recent delivery of the IBCS Integrated Fire Control Network (IFCN) relays supports the WISŁA program’s fielding schedule, which is the first foreign military sale of IBCS. Reaching this milestone provides a critical capability to a key U.S. ally and achieves NATO interoperability goals.

«Northrop Grumman is transforming decision making for the U.S. and its allies by integrating sensors and weapons for air and missile defense», said Rebecca Torzone, vice president and general manager, Combat Systems and Mission Readiness, Northrop Grumman. «IBCS provides Polish air defenders with the ability to make faster, better-informed decisions to deter, disrupt and defeat threats across all domains».

In parallel to the IFCN relay deliveries, Northrop Grumman is conducting a series of integration and test scenarios with the Engagement Operation Centers (EOCs) previously delivered in July 2022, and the relays. These tests and the associated training are important steps toward Poland taking full delivery of their first systems and achieving Basic Operational Capability later in 2023.

IBCS implements a modular, open and scalable architecture foundational to integrating available assets in the battlespace, regardless of source, service or domain onto common fire control network. Its architecture enables the efficient and affordable integration of current and future systems and extends the battlespace by disaggregating sensors and effectors. By enabling this high level of network integration, the warfighter is given unprecedented time to make accurate decisions. Through numerous successful development and operational tests and demonstrations, IBCS has proven its capability to connect and fuse multi-service sensor data to multi-service weapons, demonstrating Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2) capabilities.

Japan Flight Test

Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc. (KDRSS), a leading National Security Solutions provider, announced on December 27, 2022, that its Defense & Rocket Systems business supported the successful intercept test of a Medium-Range Ballistic Missile (MRBM) target by a Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) Block IIA fired from the JS Maya (DDG-179), marking the first time that a Japanese Maya-class destroyer has fired an SM-3 Block IIA. The intercept was the highlight of the Japan Flight Test Aegis Weapon System-07 (JFTM-07) event which featured four Kratos subscale ballistic missile targets that was conducted by the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) and the United States Missile Defense Agency (MDA) over a span of two weeks from the Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) in Hawaii. During the event, the Kratos team also supported a live-fire event featuring the engagement of a Short-Range Ballistic Missile (SRBM) target by the JS Haguro (DDG-180). Altogether, Kratos along with Government and industry partners, integrated and launched three MRBM targets and one SRBM target in support of these mission critical national security related exercises.

JS Maya (DDG-179)
Kratos Rocket Systems Supports Multiple Successful Ballistic Missile Intercept Tests During Japan Flight Test Aegis Weapon System-07 Event

The three-stage MRBM targets feature a “payload” mounted atop Kratos’ proven Oriole rocket motor and two government surplus Terrier Mk-70 rocket motors, while the two-stage SRBM target uses a Kratos Oriole and one Terrier Mk-70, to deliver the respective payloads to specific mission requirements. All four target vehicles, which have an incredibly successful, flight-demonstrated heritage on test and intercept missions for the US Navy and the MDA, executed nominal trajectories while meeting target requirements.

Kratos is a leading provider of products, solutions, and services supporting ballistic missile defense for Aegis, hypersonic testing, atmospheric science research and technology maturation. «Our team works side-by-side with our government customers to deliver transformative and affordable target systems and vehicles from mission inception through successful launch operations. JFTM-07, which was one of our largest recent mission campaigns, is just the latest example», said Dave Carter, President of KDRSS. «We are grateful to be able to continue supporting the U.S. DoD and its allies in this very important mission area».

Eric DeMarco, President and CEO of Kratos, said, «These multiple successful missions with our government partners are representative of Kratos’ industry differentiating ability to rapidly develop and field relevant systems, at an affordable cost, in support of National Security priorities. At Kratos, affordability is a technology, and our mission is to disrupt the traditional procurement and cost model, providing our customers mission relevant products and systems at an affordable cost, enabling rapid, high-volume operations, testing and fielding».

Remote Interceptor Guidance

For the first time, the U.S. Army used a newly developed Lockheed Martin communication technology to help a PATRIOT Advanced Capability 3 (PAC-3) missile intercept a cruise missile target.

Remote Interceptor Guidance – 360 (RIG-360)
PAC-3 Intercepts Target in Successful Test of Lockheed Martin Remote Interceptor Guidance-360 (RIG-360) Capability

During the U.S. Army Integrated Flight Test-2, the prototype missile communication device known as Remote Interceptor Guidance – 360 (RIG-360) successfully communicated with an in-flight PAC-3 missile to test its data link capabilities. RIG-360 enables a 360-degree PAC-3 engagement capability utilizing target data from various sensors.

«This successful test confirms our RIG-360 prototype as one of the many ways we continue to deliver technology to ensure our customers stay ahead of the full spectrum of 21st century threats», said Scott Arnold, vice president, Integrated Air and Missile Defense, Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control.

«IRIS» from Germany

In October, Germany delivered the first IRIS-T SLM medium-range anti-aircraft system to Ukraine. There is a lot of talk about this complex among specialists – we will try to understand why this system raises so many questions, what is good about IRIS-T SLM, and why Ukraine needs this system today.

IRIS-T SLM-Launcher
IRIS-T SLM-Launcher

But let’s change the order of presentation this time and immediately start with the last question: why does Ukraine need the IRIS-T SLM complex? If you are monitoring the situation developing with the air defense systems of Ukraine, you should be aware that today it is already possible to state a good equipment of the Armed Forces of Ukraine with portable short-range anti-aircraft missile systems (up to 5-7 km/3-4 miles) – these are the famous American FIM-92 Stinger and British Starstreak HVM on Alvis Stormer armored personnel carriers. What As for long-range air defense systems, this niche, albeit with a sin in half, is still closed by the old Soviet S-300 systems. Of course, they lag behind the American MIM-104 Patriot anti-aircraft systems in terms of their capabilities, but to some extent they cope with the tasks set. The worst situation is with medium-range air defense systems, which are obliged to close the gap between the long-range S-300 and the «last line of defense».

That is why western countries that have analyzed this situation are now starting to supply Ukraine with medium-range anti-aircraft systems – Norwegian NASAMS complexes and German IRIS-T SLM systems. And then we will make the following remark: NASAMS and IRIS-T SLM complexes have one thing in common. The fact is that the Norwegian NASAMS, and the German IRIS-T SLM were created on the basis of air-to-air missiles, which were upgraded to launch from the ground. Only in the case of the NASAMS complex, we are talking about an improved medium-range AIM-120 AMRAAM medium-range missile of American production, while in the German system the IRIS-T air-to-air missile was taken as a basis, which is designed for both close combat and interception of targets at medium range (up to 40 km/25 miles).

So, it makes sense to start the «debriefing» with a story about the key element of the German complex – the IRIS-T rocket. To begin with, we will explain its name. Despite the obvious associations with the English word Iris («Iris»), the name of the complex has nothing to do with «Iris». IRIS-T is an abbreviation that stands for InfraRed Imaging System Tail/Thrust Vector-Controlled. That is, we are dealing with a missile equipped with an infrared homing head, as well as with a controlled thrust vector, like the American fighter with vertical take-off and landing F-35B.

IRIS-T rocket
IRIS-T rocket

Initially, IRIS-T was created to replace the American AIM-9 Sidewinder close-combat missile, which has been in service with many NATO countries since 1956. The Germans approached this issue with their inherent thoroughness, so the new missile received backward compatibility: any aircraft capable of launching AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles can also launch IRIS-T missiles. however, in essence, the German development is quite an original design, even taking into account the fact that at the development stage of IRIS-T the German company Diehl used a navigation system from the AIM-9 Sidewinder missile.

In the 1980s, NATO countries signed an agreement that the United States would develop a medium-range air-to-air missile to replace the AIM-7 Sparrow, and Britain and Germany would develop their own short-range air-to-air missile to replace the AIM-9 Sidewinder. The American development was called the AIM-120 AMRAAM, and the British-German one was called AIM-132 ASRAAM. These abbreviations, as it is not difficult to notice, they differ from each other only in one letter: AMRAAM – the second letter «M» stands for Medium, indicating the average range; ASRAAM – the second «S» stands for Short, indicating close combat.

The roots of the ASRAAM project date back to 1968, when the development of the Hawker Siddeley SRAAM («Taildog») rocket began. In 1974, all work on the Hawker Siddeley SRAAM rocket was curtailed. The closed project was recalled in the 80s, when the UK and Germany began to develop the ASRAAM missile – the UK provided most of the remaining components from the Hawker Siddeley SRAAM, and the Germans created a new homing head. Since then, the need for high maneuverability of the missile has been reduced in favor of a longer flight range.

After the reunification of Germany in 1990, the Germans discovered a large stockpile of Soviet Vympel R-73 (AA-11 Archer according to NATO classification) missiles intended for MiG-29 Fulcrum fighters. German experts came to the conclusion that the key capabilities of the R-73 were noticeably underestimated. In particular, it was found that these Soviet missiles have good maneuverability and are much more functional in terms of capturing and tracking homing heads. than the latest versions of the same AIM-9 Sidewinder. Therefore, in 1990, Germany withdrew from the general ASRAAM project, while the UK decided to continue the development of ASRAAM in accordance with the original requirements.

At the end of 1990, the United States came to similar conclusions and began to modernize the existing design of the AIM-9 Sidewinder missile to provide increased maneuverability and improved characteristics of the IRCCM (InfraRed Counter CounterMeasures). During this program, the Americans created a new aim-9X Sidewinder short-range missile, which, by the way, can be launched from an upgraded version of the upgraded version. M1152A1 launchers of the Norwegian NASAMS complex.

NASAMS complex
NASAMS complex

But back to the German IRIS-T-missile. Compared to the AIM-9M Sidewinder, the IRIS-T has a higher resistance to electronic suppression measures and to glare suppression. Improvements in target discrimination have increased the firing range from 5 to 8 times, compared to outdated versions of the AIM-9M Sidewinder missile. The IRIS-T missile is also capable of hitting targets coming behind the aircraft, which was made possible by extreme maneuverability at close range. the distance provided by the controlled thrust vector, as well as due to the ability of the missile to capture the target after launch.

IRIS-T is capable of intercepting fast-moving and miniature targets, such as air-to-air and surface-to-air missiles, as well as air-to-surface and surface-to-surface missiles, drones and cruise missiles. To increase the probability of a direct hit, the IRIS-T missile is equipped with an active radar proximity sensor.

The ground-based version of the IRIS-T missile used in the IRIS-T SL anti-aircraft system has more advanced capabilities that allow it to destroy aircraft and helicopters, cruise missiles, air-to-surface missiles, anti-ship missiles, anti-radar missiles and large-caliber tactical missiles. IRIS-T is also extremely effective in dealing with drones and other small, highly maneuverable targets at extremely short and medium distances.

IRIS-T missile
IRIS-T missile

The Royal Norwegian Air Force (RNoAF) has tested a new air-to-surface missile developed by Diehl BGT Defense. In September 2016, test firings were conducted in Norway to test the concept of capturing, tracking and hitting a sea target, which is a small high-speed strike boat. The IRIS-T missile was launched from the Norwegian Air Force’s F-16AM multirole aircraft. As for the air-to-surface class, the IRIS-T missile retained its standard hardware configuration, including its high-explosive fragmentation warhead and infrared guidance package with updated software needed for additional surface attack capabilities. Basic air-to-ground functionality provides the ability to detect, track, and engage individual targets, such as boats/ships, small buildings, and vehicles on the ground.

There was also a very exotic version of the IRIS-T missile, which received the designation IDAS – Interactive Defence and Attack System for Submarines. The IDAS is a naval version of the submarine launch missile that is being developed for the German next-generation submarine Type 212A. The IDAS missile is designed to deal with air threats, small or medium surface ships and nearby ground targets. The flight range of the IDAS is about 40 km/25 miles. At the same time, the missile is launched from the nose launchers, part of its movement is carried out under water, and after reaching the surface, IDAS flies through the air. The missile is equipped with an infrared homing head: the length of the missile is 2.9 m/9.5 feet, the diameter is 180 mm/7 inches, the mass is 120 kg/265 lbs.


So, the Germans managed to develop a smart, extremely maneuverable, universal missile capable of hitting targets at short and medium range. It is not surprising that the developers of anti-aircraft systems soon took this development in sight.

As part of the MEADS (Medium Extended Air Defense System) program, the German Air Force decided to integrate a radar-guided version of the IRIS-T missile into its new anti-aircraft system, designated IRIS-T SL. The last two letters of this abbreviation stand for very simply Surface-Launched [missile].

This version of the missile has a pointed nose that reduces drag, which makes it easy to distinguish it from the usual IRIS-T with a discarded nose fairing. The IRIS-T SL missile system uses a GPS-based inertial navigation system and a radar data transmission channel for IRIS-T command guidance at the initial stage, and the interference-resistant infrared homing head is activated at the final stage of the flight. Compared to the standard air-launched IRIS-T, the engine diameter of the IRIS-T SL anti-aircraft missile was increased from 127 to 152 mm/5 to 6 inches. Qualification tests of the IRIS-T SL complex were completed in January 2015 at the Denel Overberg test site in South Africa.

IRIS-T SL missile
IRIS-T SL missile

Based on the development of the IRIS-T SL, three variants of the anti-aircraft system were created: IRIS-T SLS, IRIS-T SLM and IRIS-T SLX.

Despite the abundance of letters, it is not so difficult to understand these abbreviations: here one letter is added to the letters SL (Surface-L aunched): S – Short-range; M – Medium range; X – long range.

Operational tests of the IRIS-T SLM medium-range complex were completed in January 2022. It is he who will be transferred to Ukraine – more precisely, we are now talking about the transfer of 4 anti-aircraft systems, the first of which will appear in October.

A variant of the IRIS-T SLX long-range complex with the latest dual-mode homing head has been in development since April 2022.

The Swedish army has already received a version of the IRIS-T SLS short-range complex to replace the outdated RBS 70 system. Four missiles are mounted on the Eldenhet 98 launcher, which is mounted on a special version of the Bv 410 tracked vehicle. The complex includes a Giraffe 1X radar from SAAB.

Similar to the NASAMS complex, the German IRIS-T SLM system can be integrated with various modern AESA (active phased array) radars, such as the Hensoldt TRML-4D, Thales Ground Master 200 MM/C, CEA CEAFAR and SAAB Giraffe 4A. At IDEX 2019, a version of the complex called Falcon Ground Based Air Defense with a Lockheed-Martin Skykeeper control and monitoring station was shown. Giraffe 4A radar and Diehl IRIS-T SLM launcher.

German IRIS-T SLM system
German IRIS-T SLM system

And for a snack, we left the key technical characteristics of the German anti-aircraft systems of the IRIS-T SL family.

Short-range system IRIS-T SLS: maximum target interception range – 10 km/6.2 miles; the maximum height of target interception is 6 km/3.7 miles.

Medium-range complex IRIS-T SLM: maximum target interception range – 40 km/25 miles; the maximum height of target interception is 20 km/12.4 miles.

IRIS-T SLX long-range system: maximum target interception range – 80 km/48 miles; the maximum height of target interception is 30 km/18.6 miles.

As for radars, then, as we noted above, the IRIS-T SL complex allows integration with radars of various types. Thus, the IRIS-T SLS short-range system, made for Sweden, was equipped with the Giraffe 1X radar from SAAB, which detects targets at a range of 25 km/15.5 miles and at an altitude of up to 10 km/6.2 miles, which is quite acceptable for a close combat system.

Naturally, for the medium-range IRIS-T SLM complex, which Ukraine will receive, a more powerful radar is needed. Perhaps the Ukrainian version will come with an active multifunctional radar Hensoldt TRML-4D.

Hensoldt TRML-4D
Hensoldt TRML-4D

It is worth noting the presence of passive radar sensors that can provide operators of the IRIS-T complex with additional capabilities for covert early detection of air objects, as well as relaying the picture of the air situation to operational personnel without launching the radiation of the main radar, which dramatically increases the survivability of the entire system. According to the developers, this additional passive detection system can provide omnidirectional 3D tracking of more than 180 objects at a distance of up to 250 km/155 miles.

As you can see, Ukraine will have at its disposal the latest German development – weapons of the XXI century, which are not yet in service with Germany itself. Let’s take the liberty to assume that if the Ukrainians manage (and we have no doubt about this) to successfully master the IRIS-T SLM medium-range anti-aircraft system, this will be an important step for the development of other complexes of the IRIS-T SL family in the future. when the Germans need to test the latest IRIS-T SLX long-range system, the choice will also be made in favor of Ukraine.

And the last note at the end: the ability to work with the IRIS-T family of missiles can be useful in the future, when the Ukrainian Air Force begins to switch to air-to-air missiles of the NATO bloc countries.


Glide Phase Interceptor

Raytheon Missiles & Defense, a Raytheon Technologies business, successfully completed the Systems Requirements Review – Prototype (SRR-P) for the Glide Phase Interceptor (GPI). GPI is designed to intercept hypersonic weapons in the glide phase of flight, providing the U.S. and allies with a regional layer of defense against hypersonic missile threats.

Glide Phase Interceptor (GPI)
Raytheon Missiles & Defense reaches key milestone in Glide Phase Interceptor development

«The Raytheon Missiles & Defense GPI concept employs a low-risk solution that uses proven Standard Missile technology already deployed on Aegis ships, while advancing critical technologies needed in the hypersonic environment», said Tay Fitzgerald, president of Strategic Missile Defense at Raytheon Missiles & Defense. «We have a firm understanding of the requirements, and we’re ready to continue GPI development. This is a major step toward delivering this capability to the warfighter».

The SRR-P determination showcases RMD’s experience with ship launched missiles systems and their ability to mature critical hypersonic technologies that ultimately help meet fleet operational requirements against existing and future threats.

With SRR-P complete, Raytheon Missiles & Defense moves on to preliminary design.

Next Generation Interceptor

Lockheed Martin recently validated prototype communications radio technology for the Next Generation Interceptor (NGI) during a recent test milestone. The NGI’s mission is to protect the U.S. homeland from increasing and evolving intercontinental ballistic missile threats. Critically, the interceptor and its components must be able to receive and share data from the ground and throughout the mission across vast distances, at tremendous speed through harsh environments.

Next Generation Interceptor (NGI)
This image is an artist rendering of the Next Generation Interceptor (NGI) in flight (Credit: Lockheed Martin)

Through early prototype testing at Lockheed Martin’s facility in Sunnyvale, California, the company demonstrated that the interceptor’s communications system can operate through harsh and adversarial environments it may encounter during flight. This communication technology is important because it provides in-flight situational awareness enabling elements of the interceptor to effectively respond to complex threats.

«Early demonstrations like this allow us to learn as we go and manage risk», said Sarah Reeves, vice president and program manager of the Next Generation Interceptor program at Lockheed Martin. «This milestone continues the NGI team’s successful early and often testing cadence of critical technologies within our digital system design as it matures in alignment with our Developmental Evaluation Framework».

Lockheed Martin’s NGI program was born digital, using all-digital tools prior to contract award through the design and development phase. Through Agile development, the NGI team was able to rapidly create and prototype the communications capability through a focused approach on development, security, and operations (DevSecOps), reducing risk early.

The NGI team incorporated rapid prototyping, in connection with Austin, Texas, small business X-Microwave, a Quantic Company, delivering hardware platforms for software-defined radio development in weeks, rather than months, allowing for faster design evolution.

Lockheed Martin is moving with a sense of urgency, focused on continually maturing, testing and demonstrating the NGI system’s components to validate system performance. The first Lockheed Martin NGI is forecast for delivery in FY2027.

Missiles & Defense

Raytheon Missiles & Defense, a Raytheon Technologies business, is awarded an $867 million Missile Defense Agency contract to deliver SM-3 Block IIAs to the United States and partners.

SM-3 Block IIA
Missile Defense Agency awards Raytheon Missiles & Defense $867 million for SM-3 Block IIA

«The SM-3 Block IIA interceptor was developed in partnership with Japan, and it features a larger rocket motor and kinetic warhead that allow it to defend broader areas from long-range ballistic missile threats», said Tay Fitzgerald, president of Strategic Missile Defense at Raytheon Missiles & Defense. «Our strong cooperation with Japanese industry was essential to the development of this next-generation solution that can defeat complex threats around the world from sea and land».

The SM-3 Block IIA interceptor is a defensive weapon the U.S. Navy uses to destroy short- to intermediate-range ballistic missiles. The interceptor uses sheer force, rather than an explosive warhead, to destroy targets in space. Its «kill vehicle» hits threats with the force of a 10-ton truck traveling 600 mph/966 km/h. This technique, referred to as «hit-to-kill», has been likened to intercepting a bullet with another bullet.

The SM-3 Block IIA interceptor’s kinetic warhead has been enhanced, improving the search, discrimination, acquisition and tracking functions, to address advanced and emerging threats. The missile intercepted an advanced ballistic missile threat in its first live target test in early 2017.

The SM-3 interceptor is a critical piece of the Phased Adaptive Approach for missile defense in Europe. The interceptor is being carried by U.S. Navy ships deployed off Europe’s coast and is now operational at a land-based site in Romania, further enhancing Europe’s protection.

Missile Defense Radar

On May 26, 2022, the Search Track Acquire Radiate Eliminate (STARE) Project Office, U.S. Army Sentinel Product Office received the first five radars of its initial contract with Lockheed Martin. The Sentinel A4 radar is developed and manufactured by Lockheed Martin in Syracuse, New York, and has been on an accelerated schedule since the project was awarded in September 2019.

Sentinel A4
Lockheed Martin Delivers First Five Sentinel A4 Air & Missile Defense Radars To U.S. Army, Providing Improved Capability As Part Of The Army’s Modernization Efforts

«We are one step closer to getting this enhanced capability to our warfighters», stated Leah Cook, Sentinel Product Director for the U.S. Army Sentinel A4 program office. «The delivery of the first five radars is a result of collaboration and a continued commitment to the U.S. Army».

The U.S. Army and Lockheed Martin have a strong partnership founded on collaboration and trust. The process has included virtual reviews and working groups to maintain momentum through all program development phases.

«Our team understands the criticality of this technology and the need to get it fielded», said Mark Mekker, director of Army Radars for Lockheed Martin. «Our soldiers are in unpredictable environments, and the Sentinel A4 will provide improved eyes on the field to keep them safe».


What’s Next?

Lockheed Martin will support the Army in the government test program phase into early 2023. The radars will undergo mobility, environmental, radar performance and logistics testing. Production of the next five radar systems is already underway, and delivery is expected to begin in March 2023.


Future Forward to Protect Against Evolving Threats

The Sentinel A4’s open scalable radar architecture is the cornerstone of the radar system’s design and allows for addressing evolving threats with software modifications only.

The new air and missile defense radar will provide improved capability over the previous iteration, the Sentinel A3. It will outperform the legacy radar, delivering improvements in contested environments against cruise missiles, unmanned aerial systems, rotary wing and fixed wing aircraft, and rocket, artillery, and mortar threats. This includes enhanced surveillance, detection, and classification capabilities to protect U.S. Army maneuver formations.


Efficiencies & Cost Savings

Lockheed Martin radars are designed with a high degree of commonality. The company’s TPY-4 ground based air surveillance radar was built and validated under Lockheed Martin investment and significantly leveraged the Sentinel A4 radar design.

«Commonality across the radar portfolio enable sustainment efficiencies and significant cost savings for our customers. Our scalable technology, coupled with these efficiencies, has resulted in significant international interest in both the Sentinel A4 and TPY-4 radars to replace older assets that simply cannot be upgraded to match what our next generation systems are offering», said Chandra Marshall, Vice President and General Manager of Lockheed Martin’s Radar and Sensor Systems business.

Lockheed Martin continues to invest significantly in the advancement of its software-defined radar technology, including its automated manufacturing processes which improves quality and will lead to even further cost reductions.


Ballistic Missile Defence

The UK will become the first European nation to operate a Maritime Ballistic Missile Defence capability that can detect and destroy Anti-Ship Ballistic Missiles.

Aster 30 Block 1
Type 45 Ballistic Missile Defence upgrade to support more than 100 UK jobs

Type 45 Destroyers to receive significant upgrade as the UK to become the first European nation to operate a Maritime Ballistic Missile Defence detect and destroy capability.

UK have joined tri-national ASTER Block 1 missile programme with France and Italy.

Full upgrade programme worth more than £300 million, supporting more than 100 jobs, including highly skilled roles in Stevenage, Cowes, Bristol and Bolton.

The UK is set to become the first European nation to operate a Maritime Ballistic Missile Defence capability that can detect and destroy Anti-Ship Ballistic Missiles as it commits to a significant upgrade of Britain’s fleet of Type 45 destroyers.

The upgraded defence system, using the ASTER 30 Block 1 missile previously used only in French and Italian land systems, will help UK forces combat the increasing threats posed by anti-ship ballistic missiles at sea by developing the missile into a maritime variant.

The Ministry of Defence has placed an initial contract for this work with MBDA which, when delivered, will be worth more than £300 million and support more than 100 jobs across the UK – including highly skilled technology roles in areas such as system design and software engineering in Stevenage, Cowes, Bristol and Bolton.

Defence Procurement Minister, Jeremy Quin said: «As we face global uncertainty, alliances and greater defensive capability are more important than ever. Joining our French and Italian counterparts will see us collectively improve the cutting-edge technology our armed forces possess».

It is another example of us delivering on the commitments from the Defence Command Paper, helping protect our service personnel when faced with the most severe threats.

Upgrading the defensive capability of the Type 45 fleet was committed to in the Defence Command Paper, as part of the Integrated Review last year. Being able to defend against anti-ship ballistic missiles will add to the current capability of the Destroyers to defeat threats from the air.

The signing of the tri-national agreement is the first formal step in the upgrade of the six vessels, which will include converting existing missiles to the ASTER 30 Block 1 standard, as well as updates to the SAMPSON Multi-Function Radar (MFR) and Sea Viper command and control missile system, under the full Sea Viper Evolution programme.

Sea Viper’s upgrade will boost the lethality of the Type 45 vessels, helping to ensure the Royal Navy remains poised to defend the surface fleet and the Maritime Strike Group against complex air threats both now and into the future.

DE&S CEO Sir Simon Bollom, said: «This demonstrates the UK commitment to delivering a cutting-edge maritime Air Defence Capability. Sea Viper Evolution will deliver a significant uplift in capability and brings to a close many years of detailed planning and activity by the Maritime Air and Weapons team in DE&S».

The Sea Viper Evolution programme follows the recent contract awards to introduce the Common Anti Air Modular Missile (CAMM) into the Type 45, which will see the missile outload of the platform increased from 48 to 72 missiles.

The Royal Navy’s Type 45 destroyers are among the most advanced in the fleet and carry out a range of activity, including defence from air attack, counter-piracy operations and providing humanitarian aid».

Missile Defense Sensor

The first Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor (LTAMDS), built by Raytheon Missiles & Defense, a Raytheon Technologies business, arrived at the U.S. Army’s White Sands Missile Range on April 11th. The radar is the newest air and missile defense sensor for the U.S. Army, providing significantly more capacity and capability against the wide range of advancing threats facing air defenders around the world.

Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor (LTAMDS) arrives at White Sands Missile Range

This is the first of six radars planned for delivery to the Army in 2022 and marks the beginning of a series of extensive tests to prove LTAMDS performance and functionality in an operational environment.

«Together with the Army, we set out to build a radar that could detect and defend against complex and evolving threats while reducing the workload on operators – and we’ve done it with LTAMDS», said Tom Laliberty, president of RMD’s Land Warfare & Air Defense business unit. «LTAMDS provides dramatically more performance against the range of threats, from manned and unmanned aircraft to cruise missiles and ballistic missiles. Air defense forces around the world are taking notice of LTAMDS, with over a dozen countries showing formal interest in acquiring the radar».

LTAMDS is a 360-degree, Active Electronically Scanned Array radar powered by RMD-manufactured Gallium Nitride, a substance that strengthens the radar’s signal, enhances its sensitivity, and increases its reliability. LTAMDS is designed to operate as a sensor in the U.S. Army’s Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System.

LTAMDS, designed specifically for the U.S. Army’s lower tier mission, is the first sensor in a family of radars Raytheon is calling GhostEye. These sensors can detect otherwise unseen threats at greater distances, higher velocities, and from any direction. Leveraging the advancements of GaN technology and commonality with LTAMDS, Raytheon has separately developed GhostEye MR, a medium-range battlefield radar.