Category Archives: Missile Defense

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.

Sentinel-A4

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.

LTAMDS
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.

Eighth THAAD Battery

Lockheed Martin has received a contract totaling $74 million to produce the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) Weapon System for the Missile Defense Agency (MDA). The award amount covers the production of an eighth THAAD battery for the U.S. government. It’s expected to be fielded by 2025.

THAAD
Rendering Shows Lockheed Martin’s Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) Weapon System Launcher With Eight Canisters

«This award demonstrates the U.S. government’s continued confidence in the THAAD Weapon System and in its unique endo- and exo-atmospheric defense capability», said Dan Nimblett, Vice President of Upper Tier Integrated Air and Missile Defense at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. «With 16 of 16 successful flight test intercepts and recent combat success clearly documenting the effectiveness of THAAD, adding an eighth battery will further enhance readiness against existing and evolving ballistic missile threats».

The first THAAD Battery (Alpha Battery, 4th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade) was activated in May 2008 and the seventh THAAD battery was activated by the U.S. Army in December 2016.

THAAD is a highly effective, combat-proven defense against short, medium and intermediate-range ballistic missile threats. THAAD is the only U.S. system designed to intercept targets outside and inside the atmosphere. The system uses Hit-to-Kill technology to destroy a threat with direct impact neutralizing lethal payloads before they reach protected assets on the ground. THAAD continues incremental capability improvements within the weapon system to continually improve capability against current and emerging threats.

Polish Aegis Ashore

The Aegis Ashore capability planned for Poland is moving ahead to be operational by the end of next year, said the program executive officer for Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense.

Aegis Ashore
The Aegis Ashore «Deckhouse» command and control center is already in place at the Naval Support Facility Redzikowo, Poland. The Aegis Ashore capability there is expected to be complete by the end of 2022

The Aegis Combat System was originally designed as a shipboard system to track and destroy incoming enemy targets, but now the system has also been deployed for use on land, as «Aegis Ashore».

Already an Aegis Ashore capability is up and running in Deveselu, Romania, about 90 miles from Bucharest. The site, which is under the control of NATO, has been in operation for more than five years now.

A site similar to the one in Romania is also planned for Redzikowo, Poland, near the Baltic Sea. But that site has been delayed due to construction issues – though efforts are now underway to get the site operational by the end of next year.

«My part, which is to install the Aegis Weapon System, has been delayed as we work the military construction with our contractors», said Rear Admiral Tom Druggan during a discussion on Thursday at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. «We are behind, given the original schedule, no question about that. The good news is we’re getting the quality we want for a facility that’s going to be there 50 to 75 years, and we now have the right management in place in order to move ahead and complete this».

Over the summer, Druggan said, the Aegis system in Poland was pulled out of storage there and assembled to test its operations.

«We … put the whole weapon system together with the exception of the antennas», he said. «We energized it. And the equipment had been in the containers for a while. We found some issues – [but the] good news is we fixed them. And then we did an upgrade, which is saving time from a future availability. So that system is actually our most upgraded system today, ready to be installed».

In an unusual move, Druggan said, the Aegis Ashore capability in Poland is now being set up as the infrastructure on the ground to support it becomes available. He said antennas for the AN/SPY radar system have already been set up.

«We’re installing the backbone of the radar behind it», he said. «We’ve installed some command, control, communications, computers and intelligence systems. And we’re going to keep installing our pieces in parallel to the commissioning of all the industrial equipment, power, cooling, ventilation, that’s going on, on the construction side».

Normally, he said, installing an Aegis system wouldn’t happen until all the supporting construction was complete.

«I made the decision long ago that we were not going to wait», he said. «We were going to do what we could, when we could, based on the conditions within the deckhouse. That has proved to be a successful strategy. And now we’ve got good momentum».

Druggan said he expects the Aegis Ashore site in Poland to be operational by the end of 2022, and at that point the transition of the system can happen first to the Navy, then to U.S. European Command, and finally to NATO.

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.