The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) and the United States Missile Defense Agency (MDA) completed a successful intercept flight test in cooperation with the U.S. Navy off the coast of Kauai in Hawaii. A Raytheon Company Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) Block IB missile intercepted a ballistic missile target, marking the first time Japan has tested the sophisticated interceptor as announced by MDA.
The target missile was launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Hawaii, and the interceptor was launched from the Japanese ship JS Atago (DDG-177), verifying the newest ballistic missile defense engagement capability of the upgraded destroyer. The flight test mission is a significant milestone in missile defense cooperation between Japan and the U.S. Japan currently employs the SM-3 Block IA interceptor, but the IB variant’s improved two-color seeker and upgraded throttling divert and attitude control system enables engagements with a larger set of threats.
«The Standard Missile-3 family consistently demonstrates capability against sophisticated threats, both on land and at sea», said Doctor Taylor W. Lawrence, Raytheon Missile Systems president. «This test underlines the importance of allied ballistic missile defense interoperability and the powerful results we generate when we work together with our allies».
The SM-3 is produced at Raytheon’s Space Factory in Tucson, Arizona, and the company’s integration facility in Huntsville, Alabama.
The Tactical Airlift Program Office (PMA-207) Commercial Modifications and Range Support (CMARS) Team accepted delivery of their newest commercial-derivative aircraft platform, July 30.
The Gulfstream G550, with structural modifications, was further modified to house specialized telemetry equipment, unique to the U.S. Navy’s application. The G550 is slated to serve as the replacement for one of the aging P-3 range support aircraft operated out of Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division (NAWCWD) in Point Mugu, California. The aircraft’s Airborne Early Warning (AEW) structural modifications allow room for installation of a telemetry system and additional equipment to support future missions.
During a ribbon cutting ceremony attended by Gulfstream executives and PMA-207 leadership, Program Manager Captain Steven Nassau spoke to the complexity of this acquisition.
«Just getting to this point has been a process», said Nassau. «The team had to coordinate with AIR-5.0 Test and Evaluation leadership, AIR-2.0 Contracts, AIR-5.2 Ranges and AIR-5.1 test squadrons for mission equipment and airframe expertise, as well as AIR-6.0 Logistics for sustainment to keep this acquisition on schedule. Delivering the aircraft under cost and on schedule is a major milestone for such a complicated project».
PMA-207 CMARS Integrated Program Team Lead Chris Mullaney said credit should not only be given to those currently working on this project, but to those who have in the past as well.
«One of the original leads for this project was Jaimie Grubb. She, along with her Range Support Aircraft Team, had impressive foresight and solid planning at the beginning of this endeavor that paved the way for the successes we are seeing here today – delivery of a high-quality product on cost and on schedule», said Mullaney.
From here, the Phase II Integrator, Raytheon, will receive the G550 aircraft as Government furnished property and will develop, procure and integrate systems that will give the aircraft a multi-role capability in telemetry data collection, range safety and surveillance and communications relay. This modern, phased-array telemetry system will have the capability to support major programs in complex, robust and dynamic test environments for many years.
The aircraft is projected to be delivered for Initial Operating Capability (IOC) by August 2021.
Northrop Grumman Corporation and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) have set a new standard for wireless transmission by operating a data link at 100 gigabits per second (Gbps) over a distance of 20 kilometers/12.4 miles in a city environment.
The two-way data link, which featured active pointing and tracking, was demonstrated January 19, 2018 in Los Angeles.
The blazing data rate is fast enough to download a 50 Gigabyte blue ray video in four seconds. The demonstration marked the successful completion of Northrop Grumman’s Phase 2 contract for DARPA’s 100 Gbps (100G) RF Backbone program.
The 100G system is capable of rate adaptation on a frame by frame basis from 9 Gbps to 102 Gbps to maximize data rate throughout dynamic channel variations. Extensive link characterization demonstrated short-term error-free performance from 9 to 91 Gbps, and a maximum data rate of 102 Gbps with 1 erroneous bit received per ten thousand bits transmitted.
The successful data link results from the integration of several key technologies. The link operates at millimeter wave frequencies (in this case, 71-76 gigahertz and 81-86 gigahertz) with 5 gigahertz of bandwidth, or data carrying capacity, and uses a bandwidth efficient signal modulation technique to transmit 25 Gbps data streams on each 5 gigahertz channel. To double the rate within the fixed bandwidth, the data link transmits dual orthogonally polarized signals from each antenna. Additionally, the link transmits from two antennas simultaneously (spatial multiplexing) and uses Multiple-Input-Multiple-Output (MIMO) signal processing techniques to separate the signals at two receiving antennas, thus again doubling the data rate within the fixed bandwidth.
According to Louis Christen, director, research and technology, Northrop Grumman, «This dramatic improvement in data transmission performance could significantly increase the volume of airborne sensor data that can be gathered and reduce the time needed to exploit sensor data».
«Next generation sensors such as hyperspectral imagers typically collect data faster, and in larger quantity than most air-to-ground data links can comfortably transmit», said Christen. «Without such a high data rate link data would need to be reviewed and analyzed after the aircraft lands».
By contrast, a 100G data link could transmit high-rate data directly from the aircraft to commanders on the ground in near real time, allowing them to respond more quickly to dynamic operations.
The successful 100G ground demonstration sets the stage for the flight test phase of the 100G RF Backbone program. This next phase, which started in June, demonstrates the 100G air-to-ground link up to 100 Gbps over a 100 km/62.1 miles range and extended ranges with lower data rates. The 100G hardware will be flown aboard the Proteus demonstration aircraft developed by Northrop Grumman subsidiary Scaled Composites.
Northrop Grumman’s 100G industry team includes Raytheon, which developed the millimeter wave antennas and related RF electronics and Silvus Technologies, which provides the key spatial multiplexing and MIMO signal processing technologies.
The government of Sweden signed an agreement to purchase Raytheon’s Patriot air and missile defense system from the U.S. Army. The agreement, formally referred to as a Letter of Offer and Acceptance, paves the way for Sweden’s Patriot force to rapidly reach Initial Operational Capability.
«Sweden and 15 other countries trust our Patriot system to defend its citizens, military and sovereignty because Patriot has a proven track record of defeating ballistic missiles and a host of other aerial threats», said Wes Kremer, President of Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems. «Patriot in Sweden will enhance Northern European security and further strengthen the Trans-Atlantic partnership by providing a common approach to Integrated Air and Missile Defense».
Patriot is the backbone of Europe’s defense against ballistic and cruise missiles, advanced aircraft and drones.
European Nations with Patriot: Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, and Spain currently have Patriot. Within the past 12 months Romania and Poland signed Letters of Acceptance for Patriot, becoming the 5th and 6th European nations to procure Raytheon’s Patriot system.
Raytheon Company is developing a 100-kW class laser weapon system preliminary design for integration onboard the Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV). This is a $10 million U.S. Army’s High Energy Laser Tactical Vehicle Demonstration (HEL TVD) program contract.
HEL TVD, a U.S. Army science and technology demonstration program, is part of the Army’s Indirect Fire Protection Capability (IFPC) Increment 2 initiative.
«The beauty of this system is that it’s self-contained», said Roy Azevedo, vice president of Intelligence, Reconnaissance and Surveillance Systems at Raytheon’s Space and Airborne Systems business unit. «Multi-spectral targeting sensors, fiber-combined lasers, power and thermal sub-systems are incorporated in a single package. This system is being designed to knock out rockets, artillery or mortar fire, or small drones».
Upon HEL TVD Program Option Two completion, the one supplier will be awarded a system development and demonstration contract by the Army to build and integrate a weapon system on the Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles. A System, Development and Demonstration (SDD) contract decision, valued at nearly $130 million, is expected early in 2019.
Raytheon Co., Missile Systems, Tucson, Arizona, is awarded a $14,856,016 firm-fixed-price contract for Over-the-Horizon Weapon Systems.
This contract will manufacture and deliver Over-the-Horizon Weapon Systems, which consists of:
Encanistered Missiles (EM) loaded into Launching Mechanisms (LM);
a single Fire Control Suite (FCS).
This contract consists of:
EMs (tactical, telemetered and inert operational);
mission support equipment, training equipment and courses;
travel and other direct costs.
This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $847,611,857.
Work will be performed in:
Kongsberg, Norway (75 percent);
Tucson, Arizona (15 percent);
Schrobenhausen, Germany (4 percent);
Raufoss, Norway (3 percent);
McKinney, Texas (2 percent);
Louisville, Kentucky (1 percent),
and is expected to be completed by May 2020.
Fiscal 2018 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) funding; and fiscal 2018 other procurement (Navy) funding in the amount of $14,856,016 will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.
This contract was competitively procured via the Federal Business Opportunities website, with one offer received.
The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity (N00024-18-C-5432).
Successful air defence demands a holistic approach. This is why Rheinmetall – Europe’s foremost maker of military systems and equipment – wants to supply the German armed forces with a path-breaking solution encompassing the whole complexity of ground-based air defence. Here the Düsseldorf-based high-tech group is cooperating closely with America’s Raytheon.
Rheinmetall’s plan calls for networking all relevant sensors, effectors, platforms and C4I assets into a single, scalable, system of systems. This will create a highly effective, modularly scalable and flexible air defence system covering the Bundeswehr’s full mission spectrum.
Short- and very short-range air defence
The phasing out of the Roland and Gepard mobile air defence systems leaves the Bundeswehr with very limited capabilities in the area of short- and very-short range air defence, or SHORAD. Rheinmetall’s lightweight air defence system ensures that this capability is maintained through to 2025.
Effective SHORAD – NNbS in German military parlance – requires a total system concept, one which is capable of neutralizing incoming rockets, artillery and mortar rounds – the so-called RAM threat – as well as bringing down unmanned aerial systems, especially in the low, slow, small (LSS) subset, e.g. quadrocopter drones. Finally, the system has to be able to deal effectively with conventional aircraft flying at close range. As an experienced SHORAD supplier, Rheinmetall’s proposal calls for a mix of automatic cannon and guided missiles, and in the nearby future augmented with high-energy laser weapons.
Tactical air defence systems
Over the next few years, the Bundeswehr will be utilizing the Patriot integrated air and missile defense for defence e.g. against tactical ballistic missiles. Rheinmetall is Raytheon’s national partner for evolving Patriot in Germany.
A phased upgrade from the current Patriot Config 3+ system to next-generation (NextGen) status will meet the future requirements for a long-range ground-based air defence system.
Even in the concept phase, the systemic approach embodied by Rheinmetall SHORAD and the Patriot NextGen meets the requirements for comprehensive, adaptable, modular air defence, enabling a single-source approach covering all aspects of air and missile defence.
Patriot is in the backbone of integrated air and missile defense for six NATO nations and eight other partner countries, making it globally interoperable. A multinational solution, it significantly lowers lifecycle costs thanks to a common threat database and modernization costs shared across the 14-nation partnership.
Scalable tactical C2 design
Rheinmetall envisages a flexible, role-based command and control architecture for its ground-based air defence system. The scalable tactical operation centre concept with flexible C2 architecture enables optimized force composition in line with the given specific operational task.
«VSHORAD» army programme
Complementing the German Air Force capabilities of ground-based air defence, the German Army has articulated the demand for an organic air defence capability against microdrones, to be available for NATO-VJTF 2023. The operational demand envisages a wheelmounted air defence vehicle protecting units in the very short range from aerial threats during deployed operations. Here, Rheinmetall can offer a market-ready system. Future utilization and integration of those VJTF 2023 components into the SHORAD system is assured, thus representing sustained investment.
Raytheon’s sophisticated MTS sensor package, combined with a high-energy laser and mounted on the MRZR vehicle, could offer an effective defense against UAVs.
In a windowless room on Raytheon’s campus in McKinney, Texas, a small team of blue jean-clad engineers and physicists is doing something that’s never been done before. They move back and forth between computer screens and a vehicle that looks like it’s straight out of Mad Max.
«Basically, we’re putting a laser on a dune buggy to knock drones out of the sky», said Doctor Ben Allison, director of Raytheon’s high energy laser product line.
It’s actually a little more complicated than that, Allison added. The team is combining a high energy laser with an advanced variant of Raytheon’s Multi-spectral Targeting System – a sophisticated package of electro-optical and infrared sensors – and installing it on a Polaris MRZR, a small, all-terrain vehicle.
In an homage to Austin Powers, Art Morrish, vice president of Advanced Concepts and Technology at Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems, said, «It’s not sharks with laser beams on them, but it’s pretty close».
A defense against drones
According to Allison, the idea grew out of a meeting with Raytheon’s CEO and Chairman Tom Kennedy earlier this year. Kennedy told Allison and Morrish that an allied nation had recently used a Patriot missile to shoot down a cheap, store-bought UAS that was outfitted with a grenade-like munition.
«That cost-to-kill ratio is high», explained Allison, «but the threat is clear. So, the question became, ‘What can we do for a counter-UAS system using a high-energy laser and do it quickly. We didn’t want to go out and do a bunch of research and development. We wanted to take the assets and capabilities Raytheon has today and use them to really affect this asymmetrical threat. We settled on a small system that’s hugely capable».
Good Things Come in Small Packages
The team first looked at putting its laser on a standard-size military container, but soon realized it only took up a quarter of the available space. At the same time, an undisclosed customer was exploring ways to put a laser weapon system on vehicles small enough to fit in an airplane’s cargo bay or inside a helicopter.
«When we saw how small we could make it and we saw a clear customer need, we immediately wanted to find a very tactically relevant vehicle that could get out to forward operating bases and do its mission», said Allison.
The system is standalone, with a footprint of roughly 30 square feet/2.79 square meter. On a single charge from a standard 220v outlet, the same kind you plug your washing machine into at home, the HEL system onboard the MRZR delivers four hours of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability and 20 to 30 laser shots. The system can also be coupled with a generator to provide virtually infinite magazine depth.
While the laser and the vehicle are sure to draw all the attention, it’s the weaponized MTS sensor package that is the core of the system. In this configuration, the MTS provides its standard setting ISR and tracking capabilities while also serving as a beam director.
That’s something Allison says sets this combo apart from bigger, more power-hungry systems. «If you have a good beam director, then you can use a smaller, more efficient laser. You can make your system smaller and more flexible», said Allison.
Hitting the Road
Morrish believes the solution is particularly suited for expeditionary missions. «Right now, it’s a shoot-on-the-halt capability», said Morrish. «You drive the vehicle wherever you’re going to drive it. You stop and then you fire up the laser. That makes it great for protecting forward-operating bases and places where convoys have to stop. The next step is to set it up so you can actually shoot on the move».
Raytheon began field testing the HELWS MRZR last week and is slated to demonstrate it at the U.S. Army’s Maneuver Fires Experiment at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, in December.
«The idea is to quickly take this solution out of the lab and put it in the hands of the operators», said Morrish. «The folks in uniform are going to find ways to use it that those of us in lab coats never have».
The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Japan of Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IIA missiles for an estimated cost of $133.3 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on January 9, 2018.
The Government of Japan has requested a possible sale of four (4) Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IIA missiles. Also included are four (4) MK 29 missile canisters, U.S. Government and contractor representatives’ technical assistance, transportation, engineering and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistical and program support. The estimated total case value is $133.3 million.
This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by improving the security of a major ally that has been, and continues to be, a force for political stability and economic progress in the Asia-Pacific region.
The proposed sale will provide Japan with an increased ballistic missile defense capability to assist in defending the Japanese homeland and U.S. personnel stationed there. Japan will have no difficulty absorbing these additional munitions and support into the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF).
The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.
The principal contractors will be Raytheon Missile Systems, Tucson, AZ (SM-3); and BAE Systems, Minneapolis, MN (MK 29). There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.
Implementation of this proposed sale will require annual trips to Japan involving U.S. Government and contractor representatives for technical reviews, support, and oversight for approximately five years.
There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.
This notice of a potential sale is required by law and does not mean the sale has been concluded.
The government of Romania signed an agreement to purchase Raytheon’s combat proven Patriot from the U.S. Army. The agreement, formally referred to as a Letter of Offer and Acceptance, paves the way for Romania’s Patriot force to rapidly reach Initial Operational Capability, and sets the stage for the U.S. government to begin contract negotiations with Raytheon.
Raytheon’s Patriot Solutions is a missile defense system consisting of radars, command-and-control technology and multiple types of interceptors, all working together to detect, identify and defeat tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, drones, advanced aircraft and other threats. Patriot is the foundation of integrated air and missile defense for 13 nations.
Patriot is a purely defensive system that is the backbone of NATO’s defense against ballistic and cruise missiles, advanced aircraft and drones. Romania’s procurement of the system will help the country meet its NATO commitment to spend at least 2% of its Gross Domestic Product on defense.
«With its newly built Patriot capability, Romania’s military will have the ability to defend Romania and its NATO allies», said Tom Laliberty, Raytheon vice president of Integrated Air and Missile Defense. «Patriot will also enable Romanian air defenders to train, exercise and interoperate with their U.S. and European counterparts».
Thirteen other nations depend on Patriot to protect their citizens and armed forces, including the U.S. and four other European nations: Germany, Greece, the Netherlands and Spain.
«This procurement will create jobs in both the U.S. and Romania», Laliberty added. «Raytheon is developing long-term relationships with Romanian companies to help us build and sustain Romania’s Patriot fleet».
Romania will receive the Patriot Configuration 3+, the most advanced configuration available, as well as an undisclosed quantity of Patriot Guidance Enhanced Missile (GEM-T) and Patriot Advanced Capability 3 (PAC-3) Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) interceptor missiles. These interceptors will enable Romania’s military to defeat current and emerging threats.