Tag Archives: MBDA

ASRAAM for Kingdom

MBDA has received a contract worth over £300 million from the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) that ensures the Royal Air Force remains equipped with the highly capable infra-red guided air-to-air missile, ASRAAM (Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile). The contract covers the supply of new missiles to refresh the existing inventory of ASRAAM. Value for money is ensured through the re-use of components from other MBDA products such as the Common Anti-air Modular Missile (CAMM).

ASRAAM accepts target information via the aircraft sensors, such as the radar or helmet mounted sight but can also act as an autonomous infrared search and track system
ASRAAM accepts target information via the aircraft sensors, such as the radar or helmet mounted sight but can also act as an autonomous infrared search and track system

The missiles will be produced at MBDA’s new Bolton manufacturing and assembly site that will be commissioned in mid-2016. The engineering activities are being carried out at MBDA sites in Stevenage and Bristol. This programme and associated workload around domestic and export programmes using the core CAMM system, will sustain 400 jobs across the MBDA sites and at a number of other UK suppliers. The sustainment of these production facilities also ensures that ASRAAM remains available for overseas customers and future exports.

Dave Armstrong, Executive Group Director Technical and Managing Director UK of MBDA said, «I strongly welcome this decision. This contract will deliver value to the MoD and keep the Royal Air Force equipped with an air defence capability that provides operational advantage wherever it flies. It illustrates the importance of the joint MoD and MBDA approach to delivering world leading complex weapons capability and will ensure that essential and unique UK skills, technologies and facilities, such as our new £30 million state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Bolton, are sustained for the future. Finally, the RAF’s commitment to this capability will also enhance future export success and we look forward to extending the joint government and industry approach to securing further ASRAAM customers».

 

Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile

ASRAAM is the most modern air-to-air missile designed to dominate the Within Visual Range (WVR) combat mission. The concept behind ASRAAM is to give the pilot the ability to engage the enemy, fire and get away without risking himself or his aircraft in a dogfight. ASRAAM’s unique capabilities enable it to defeat all short-range missiles, existing or planned, in close-in combat.

The RAAF has demonstrated successful «over the shoulder» firing in LOAL mode against target drones that were behind the wing-line of the launch aircraft
The RAAF has demonstrated successful «over the shoulder» firing in LOAL mode against target drones that were behind the wing-line of the launch aircraft

The missile system performance is attributed to a revolutionary design concept and state-of-the-art technology providing fast reaction time from button press to end game performance and giving ASRAAM the highest speed of any short-range missile.

ASRAAM’s high speed is achieved by means of a combination of low drag and rocket motor size. By using a 6.5-inch/166-mm diameter motor, compared with other missiles, which use a 5-inch/127-mm motor, ASRAAM has more propellant and can maintain a high speed throughout its flight time.

Designed to out manoeuvre target aircraft in Within Visual Range engagements and to allow launch at high off-boresight angles during such engagements; ASRAAM is a highly agile missile. The exceptional manoeuvrability is provided by a sophisticated control system using innovative body lift technology coupled with tail control.

ASRAAM provides the pilot with the ability to effectively engage targets from gun range to near Beyond Visual Range (BVR). The pilot can identify the threat passively and cue the missile using a Helmet Mounted Display (HMD), Infra-Red Search and Track (IRST) or radar, or it can be cued using third party targeting. The missile imaging infrared seeker allows ASRAAM to fly out to the target passively.

ASRAAM’s maximum range is uncontested, and no other short-range air-to-air missile comes near to this capability, providing the ability to passively home beyond the limits of visual range and well into the realm traditionally thought of as Beyond Visual Range.

ASRAAM can be employed in 3 ways:

  • For normal engagements of targets in the forward hemisphere, the «lock before launch» capability is used.
  • Engagement of targets beyond the seeker acquisition range is made possible using the Lock On After Launch (LOAL) capability with target data provided by the aircraft sensors or a third party.
  • For close-in combat, the aircraft sensors can give target positional data to the missile beyond the seeker off-boresight limits of +/- 90 degrees. This gives the pilot the additional ability to fire an «over-the-shoulder» shot using the Lock On After Launch capability of the missile. In this scenario, the pilot can locate targets behind the aircraft using, for example, the Helmet Mounted Display or third party targeting. In this case, the missile will launch and fly onto the vector provided by the aircraft, and the seeker will acquire the target, engage and destroy it.
The missile can fly faster and further than competing short-range air-to-air missiles
The missile can fly faster and further than competing short-range air-to-air missiles

ASRAAM is in service with the Royal Air Force as its Within Visual Range Dominance weapon. The weapon is also in operational service with the Royal Australian Air Force on its F/A-18 Hornet.

Already fully integrated with proven reliability on Typhoon, Tornado and F/A-18, ASRAAM is also being integrated onto the F-35 Lightning II.

Proven capability demonstrated by firings from a range of aircraft, including: F-16, F/A-18, Tornado F3, Tornado GR4 and Typhoon aircraft.

 

Missile Characteristics

Weight 194 lbs/88 kg
Length 9.5 feet/2.9 m
Diameter 6.5 inch/166 mm
Speed Over Mach 3
Range In excess of 15.5 miles/25 km

 

MEADS Selection

The German Federal Ministry of Defence has chosen the Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) as the basis for Taktisches LuftVerteidigungsSystem (TLVS), a next-generation network-based tactical air and missile defense system. It will replace Patriot air defense systems initially fielded in the 1980s. Lockheed Martin will share in development of Germany’s TLVS with its MEADS International partner MBDA Deutschland.

A second MEADS Launcher has been integrated onto a German MAN Prime Mover
A second MEADS Launcher has been integrated onto a German MAN Prime Mover

«Lockheed Martin is fully committed to the success of TLVS», said Rick Edwards, president of Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. «It reflects our continuing commitment to international partnerships and ongoing support for the German government’s leadership role in European missile defense».

MEADS has been developed through MEADS International, a cooperative venture between MBDA and Lockheed Martin. The TLVS program ensures seamless continuation of this successful development partnership. Lockheed Martin companies in Dallas, Texas; Huntsville, Alabama; Orlando, Florida; and Syracuse, New York, are expected to support the German program.

«With this decision in favour of MEADS, Germany has opted for a powerful, state-of-the-art, long term ground-based air and missile defence system sufficient to meet the threats both of today and of the future», said Thomas Homberg, managing director of MBDA Deutschland. «It is now our shared responsibility, together with the armed forces, to provide a solid basis for the introduction of the system».

A MEADS MFCR in the U.S. configuration completes an emplacement demonstration in Syracuse, New York. Range testing continues in preparation for a tactical ballistic missile intercept test in late 2013
A MEADS MFCR in the U.S. configuration completes an emplacement demonstration in Syracuse, New York. Range testing continues in preparation for a tactical ballistic missile intercept test in late 2013

In 2013, at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, MEADS became the first air and missile defense system to demonstrate a dual intercept of targets attacking simultaneously from opposite directions. MEADS is designed to significantly reduce operation and support costs by covering a larger area with less manpower and equipment, and less demand on airlift. Once in theater, MEADS elements emplace more quickly and can be repositioned without shutting the system down.

«We are honored that MEADS will provide the foundation for Germany’s next-generation air and missile defense system», said Mike Trotsky, vice president of air and missile defense at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. «Only MEADS has demonstrated the advanced network capabilities and 360-degree defense that are now essential requirements for air and missile defense systems».

TLVS is being carried out under the system leadership of MBDA Deutschland, which continues to draw on MBDA Italia capabilities as well as on a proven industry partnership involving Lockheed Martin and Airbus Defence and Space as well as the skills of many German and international subcontractors.

The MEADS-based TLVS can be used for both national and alliance defence and to protect deployed troops during operations. Special features of the system include 360-degree coverage, open system architecture and «plug & fight» capability, which allows for the coupling of additional sensors and weapon systems, as well as rapid deployability. In addition, the TLVS air defence system can be operated at a significantly lower cost to the user than existing systems and with fewer personnel. The technologies generated within the framework of the tri-national MEADS development process represent the equivalent of €4 billion. Germany shouldered a 25% share of the investment.

Shown in their German configurations, a MEADS Multifunction Fire Control Radar, launcher, and battle manager appear together near Freinhausen, Germany
Shown in their German configurations, a MEADS Multifunction Fire Control Radar, launcher, and battle manager appear together near Freinhausen, Germany

 

Medium Extended Air Defense System

The MEADS provides a robust, 360-degree defense using the Patriot Advanced Capability-Three (PAC-3) hit-to-kill Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) against the full spectrum of theater ballistic missiles, anti-radiation missiles, cruise missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles, tactical air-to-surface missiles, and rotary- and fixed-wing threats. MEADS will also provide defense against multiple and simultaneous attacks by short-range ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and other air-breathing threats. MEADS can be immediately deployed by air for early entry operations. MEADS also has the mobility to displace rapidly and protect maneuver force assets during offensive operations. Netted, distributed, open architecture and modular components are utilized in the MEADS to increase survivability and flexibility of use in a number of operational configurations. The PAC-3 MSE improves upon the current missile configuration ranges/altitudes and improves performance against evolving threats.

The MEADS weapon system will use its netted and distributed architecture to ensure Joint and allied interoperability, and to enable a seamless interface to the next generation of Battle Management Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (BMC4I). The system’s improved sensor components and its ability to link other airborne and ground-based sensors facilitate the employment of its battle elements.

The MEADS weapon system’s objective battle management Tactical Operations Center (TOC) will provide the basis for the future common Air and Missile Defense (AMD) TOC, leveraging modular battle elements and a distributed and open architecture to facilitate continuous exchange of information to support a more effective AMD system-of-systems.

A MEADS MFCR is shown in deployed configuration in Germany. In European tests, the radar demonstrated tracking and canceling of jamming signals; searching, cueing, and tracking in ground clutter; and successfully classified target data using kinematic information
A MEADS MFCR is shown in deployed configuration in Germany. In European tests, the radar demonstrated tracking and canceling of jamming signals; searching, cueing, and tracking in ground clutter; and successfully classified target data using kinematic information

 

PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement

The PAC-3 MSE is an evolution of the battle-proven PAC-3 Missile. The hit-to-kill PAC-3 MSE provides performance enhancements that counter evolving threat advancements. The enhancements ensure the PAC-3 Missile Segment of the Patriot Air Defense System is capable of engaging new and evolving threats. The hit-to-kill PAC-3 Missile is the world’s most advanced, and capable theater air defense missile and defender against the entire threat to the Patriot Air Defense System: Tactical Ballistic Missiles (TBMs) carrying weapons of mass destruction, evolving cruise missiles and aircraft.

The PAC-3 MSE design utilizes the latest technology to significantly increase performance. The PAC-3 MSE incorporates a larger, dual pulse solid rocket motor; larger fins; and upgraded actuators and thermal batteries to accommodate increased performance. The modifications extend the missile’s reach.

The PAC-3 MSE is packaged in a single canister that stacks to provide logistical flexibility. Twelve individual PAC-3 MSE Missiles can be loaded on a Patriot Launcher or a combination of six MSEs and eight PAC-3 Missiles (two four packs) can be loaded.

Several successful intercept flight tests of the missiles have been conducted.

PAC-3 MSE has completed operational testing and has received approval for initial production.

MEADS demonstrated its ability to engage and defeat a target coming from anywhere using just a single launcher
MEADS demonstrated its ability to engage and defeat a target coming from anywhere using just a single launcher

 

MEADS Introduction

MMC: Replacement
of the Milan

The French Defence Procurement Agency (Direction Générale de l’Armement) successfully carried out the first firing of MMP (Missile de Moyenne Portée or Medium Range Missile), the successor to the Milan weapon system. Carried out at the DGA Techniques Terrestres site in Bourges (central France), the firing test served to confirm MMP’s excellent accuracy in locking onto a target at a distance of more than 4,000 m and that was hidden from view at launch. This success is the result of the coordinated efforts of both state (DGA and French Army) and industrial (MBDA France) participants.

MMP (Missile de Moyenne Portée or Medium Range Missile) in operation
MMP (Missile de Moyenne Portée or Medium Range Missile) in operation

MMP is a high technology, new generation missile forming one of the French MoD’s (Ministry of Defence) new programmes within the Military Planning Act 2014-2019 aimed at modernising the French Army.

This versatile missile, conceived by MBDA France, is currently in its development phase following the notification of a development contract by the DGA on 3rd December 2013. It will enable the armed forces to neutralise, with a high level of precision, the many different types of target that might be confronted during operations, ensuring that collateral damage is kept to a minimum and at the same time maximizing the safety of the operator. The delivery date of the system to the French Army is scheduled for 2017. According to Jane’s Defence Weekly, in total the army has ordered 2,850 missiles and 400 firing posts from MBDA, with the missile not only intended to arm infantry personnel but also intended to be vehicle-launched from platforms such as the army’s upcoming Jaguar 6×6 reconnaissance vehicle.

Further test firings have already been programmed by the DGA Techniques Terrestres to take place during the first quarter of 2015.

MMP on MPCV Turret at Eurosatory 2014
MMP on MPCV Turret at Eurosatory 2014

 

MMP (Missile de Moyenne Portée)

MBDA is currently developing MMP (Missile Moyenne Portée), the medium range, ground combat as a successor to MILAN (the eponymous anti-tank system supplied to over 40 armies around the world). MMP is a fifth generation weapon system responding to the requirements outlined within the French Army’s FELIN and SCORPION programmes. FELIN is a programme aimed at developing the necessary equipment for the French infantryman of the future while SCORPION will advance the integration and coordination of the range of equipment deployed by future French ground forces, calling for wide-ranging digitisation and platform interoperability. In this respect, MMP is also relevant to other ground forces around the world that are in the process of preparing for the requirements of the battlefield well into the future.

MMP’s entirely new concept takes into consideration the experience gained from recent conflicts, where the need to master the delivery of military effects without collateral damage has been shown to be a major operational requirement.

MMP is man portable (the missile in its tube weighs only 15 kg), easy to set up and operate by a two-man team. It is the ideal combat support weapon for the modern soldier who might be called upon to fight either out in the open battlefield or from confined spaces within a complex urban environment. The system can be used either in conjunction with a lightweight, portable digital firing post (weighing only 11 kg, battery included) or alternatively, mounted on a typical armoured vehicle.

High level of day and night, all-weather reconnaissance and identification capability
High level of day and night, all-weather reconnaissance and identification capability

Its shaped tandem warhead (MMP features a unique selectable charge depending on the intended target) provides lethality at ranges of up to 4 km against a wide range of stationary or moving ground targets from bunkers and machine gun posts to tanks equipped with the latest Explosive Reactive Armour (ERA).

Equipped with a non-cooled, dual-mode visible/infrared seeker, MMP is able to engage both hot and cold targets. To ensure operator survivability, MMP’s «fire-and-forget» capability allows the operator to fire and disengage immediately without having to wait for the missile to strike its intended target. However, in a complex environment where collateral damage is a concern, MMP’s optic fibre link enables MITL (Man-In-The-Loop) operation.

Combined with a navigation function integrated within the missile, the optical link via the missile allows for a full NLOS (Non Line Of Sight) operation as well, a function further enhanced within a modern info-centric environment. These are the features that combine to create a true 5th generation combat support weapon.

MMP represents the first missile within a family of ground and air-platform launched surface combat missiles. These missiles will share not only the same airframe diameter but also significant elements of technology in line with MBDA’s GMA (General Missile Architecture) strategy, a strategy aimed at reducing both cost and development risk.

Rapid reaction operation, firing sequence reversibility
Rapid reaction operation, firing sequence reversibility

 

Features

  • Lightweight weapon system, easily man-portable
  • High level of day and night, all-weather reconnaissance and identification capability
  • Confined space firing capability
  • Rapid reaction operation, firing sequence reversibility
  • Lethality against a wide target set: hot and cold targets, including latest MBTs (Main Battle Tanks)
  • Collateral damage risk minimization

 

MMP missile

  • Dual-band seeker (uncooled IR and TV channel)
  • MEMS IMU (MicroElectroMechanical Systems Inertial Measurement Unit) for inertial navigation
  • Two-stage main propulsion system (soft launch)
  • Multipurpose tandem warhead capable of defeating 1,000 mm of RHA (Rolled Homogeneous Armour), 2,000 mm of concrete
  • Maintenance free
The missile also intended to be vehicle-launched
The missile also intended to be vehicle-launched

 

MMP interactive firing post

  • Fully digitized
  • Latest generation IR band 2 and day camera
  • Laser range finder
  • GPS and magnetic compass
  • Autonomous operation and NCW (Network-Centric Waveform) compatible
  • Modular to facilitate integration on combat vehicles

 

MMP training simulators

  • Gunnery training simulator for indoor training
  • Combat firing simulator for technical firing instruction and tactical training in the field

 

Range: 4,000 m

Real time data-link

Three operating modes:

  • Fire-and-Forget;
  • Man-In-The-Loop with fibre-optic data-link;
  • Lock-On-After-Launch (NLOS and using third party target coordinates).
Lightweight weapon system, easily man-portable
Lightweight weapon system, easily man-portable

 

Dual-band seeker:

  • Uncooled IR;
  • TV channel.

 

Missile

Weight (incl. tube):                    15 kg

Length:                                              1.3 m in tactical canister

Diameter:                                        140 mm

Range:                                                4,000 m

Real time data-link (fibre-optic)

 

Interactive firing post:

  • Weight (incl. tripod and battery): 11 kg;
  • Autonomous with battery or can be connected to external power sources.

 

The latest (fifth) generation land combat missile system designed for dismounted infantry as well as for integration on combat vehicles. Featuring both fire-and-forget and man-in-the-loop operation, network-enabled MMP also receives third party target coordinates for indirect firing scenarios. MMP’s design includes the growth potential necessary for a future family of missiles for modern land combat.

Replace the Rapiere

It is said in the Jane’s Defence Weekly that the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has ordered a new ground based Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) system from MBDA.

With an expected operational range of at least 25 km (trials are understood to have shown a capability to travel 60 km) and a maximum missile speed of Mach 3.0, CAMM significantly outperforms the 8 km range and Mach 2.5 top speed of the Rapier missile
With an expected operational range of at least 25 km (trials are understood to have shown a capability to travel 60 km) and a maximum missile speed of Mach 3.0, CAMM significantly outperforms the 8 km range and Mach 2.5 top speed of the Rapier missile

Known as the Future Local Area Air Defence System (FLAADS) Land, the new SAM system will eventually replace the British Army’s Rapier Field Standard C (FSC) short-range SAM systems. Speaking to IHS Jane’s on 15 January, a MoD spokesperson confirmed that a development and manufacture phase contract had been awarded to MBDA for the programme. An MBDA spokesperson confirmed to IHS Jane’s that it had received the contract in December 2014. The contract is valued at GBP228 million ($348 million).

According to the MoD FLAAD Land should be ready for entry into service at «the end of the decade». This should allow for a smooth change over with the retirement of the Rapier, scheduled to begin in 2020.

During trials of the CAMM missile a truck based launcher was used capable of carrying 12 missiles - comparing favourably to the 8 missiles on a Rapier fire unit
During trials of the CAMM missile a truck based launcher was used capable of carrying 12 missiles – comparing favourably to the 8 missiles on a Rapier fire unit

The quantity of FLAADS Land systems included in the contract is unclear, although the Royal Artillery (RA) currently operates five batteries of Rapier FSC missiles and these are likely to be replaced broadly on a like-for-like basis. The RA also deploys the very-short range Thales Starstreak High Velocity Missile (HVM).

FLAADS Land uses the MBDA Common Anti-air Modular Missile (CAMM) as its interceptor. CAMM is also under order for the Royal Navy’s Sea Ceptor primary-air defence system that will equip the services Type 23 frigates and future Type 26 Global Combat Ship.

CAMM is originally derived from the MBDA Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile (ASRAAM), while both Sea Ceptor and FLAADS Land also sharing a common command and control (C2) system.

 

CAMM for future Land operations

As part of a land based weapon system, CAMM will provide future land forces with an easily transportable and rapidly deployable local area air defence capability, which can operate as a stand-alone unit or be integrated within a future battlespace network. If 3rd party targeting information is available via the battlespace network then CAMM is capable of engaging Non Line of Sight (NLOS) targets. This NLOS feature is particularly attractive for engaging concealed Attack Helicopters and low-flying terrain-following cruise missiles.

When it enters service FLAADS Land will offer a significant improvement in capability over the RA's existing Rapier SAM systems
When it enters service FLAADS Land will offer a significant improvement in capability over the RA’s existing Rapier SAM systems

The small footprint of a CAMM launch site and the low-signature of a CAMM missile launch increases survivability of air defence assets. CAMM is logistically easy to manage with CAMM canisters slotting straight into launcher frames, with no need for manhandling of actual missiles.

The CAMM missile in its canister is exactly the same whether used on a ship or by a land unit, opening the opportunity for common missile stockpiles across Navies and Armies in the future.

The FLAADS Land system will provide the British Army with a world leading Ground Based Air Defence (GBAD) system that will be one of the most advanced and capable in its class, providing operational, logistical and cost benefits.

Besides the sheer improvement in interceptor performance, the new system should offer improved C2 and networked performance
Besides the sheer improvement in interceptor performance, the new system should offer improved C2 and networked performance

 

CAMM as part of Sea Ceptor for future Naval operations

As part of the Sea Ceptor weapon system, CAMM provides a 360° air defence capability for naval forces out to ranges greater than 25km against the current and future air threat. Requiring no dedicated tracker/illuminator radars, CAMM can be cured by the ship’s own standard surveillance radar to provide high levels of protection against multiple simultaneous targets in Open Ocean and littoral environments. It can also be used against surface targets.

CAMM launch canisters are compatible with SYLVER and Mark-41 family launch silos with CAMM utilizing features such as folding missile fins to maximize launch canister packing density. The introduction of «soft launch» techniques reduces system mass and allows for more flexibility in terms of installation positions on a ship.

Based on an advanced active RF seeker, CAMM’s modular design allows the use of alternative seeker and guidance options (such as Imaging Infra-Red); the missile offers true all weather capability.

Based on an advanced active RF seeker, CAMM’s modular design allows the use of alternative seeker and guidance options (such as Imaging Infra-Red)
Based on an advanced active RF seeker, CAMM’s modular design allows the use of alternative seeker and guidance options (such as Imaging Infra-Red)

The Sea Ceptor weapon system incorporates a 2-way data-link to CAMM missiles in flight and is intended for vessels of corvette size or larger, for either new ships or as a retrofit. In September 2013, the UK’s Royal Navy contracted with MBDA for the manufacture of the Sea Ceptor system for its frigate fleet. The weapon system is designed to be flexible enough for the ‘cross-decking’ of weapon equipment straight onto the Royal Navy’s planned Type 26 class of ships when they replace the Type 23 class in the future.

On May 21st 2014, the New Zealand MoD signed a contract for the Royal New Zealand Navy’s (RNZN) for the Local Area Air Defence (LAAD) system with MBDA. The CAMM missile and its associated ship’s equipment will be installed on the RNZN frigates HMNZ Te Kaha and Te Mana as part of the ANZAC Frigate Systems Upgrade project.

 

CAMM for future Air operations

The same CAMM missile design for Navies and Armies is easily adaptable by MBDA for Air Force use on Fast Jets. With MBDA’s experience from ASRAAM and Meteor ensuring world class performance will be achieved. MBDA has been working with the MoD on assessing how CAMM technology could be used to sustain or enhance the Royal Air Force’s ASRAAM capability in the future.

 

Missile characteristics

Weight:                                             99 kg

Length:                                              3.2 m

Diameter:                                        0.16 m

Maximum Range:                        25 km

Minimum Range:                         <1 km

Speed:                                                >2.5 M