Naval Warfare

Ursa Major Signs US Navy Contract for Next Gen Solid Rocket Motors for Standard Missile

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Ursa Major Signs US Navy Contract for Next Gen Solid Rocket Motors for Standard Missile

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The SM-2 missile is a surface-to-air missile primarily intended for fleet area air defence and ship self-defence.
The SM-2 missile is a surface-to-air missile primarily intended for fleet area air defence and ship self-defence.

Ursa Major, America’s leading privately funded company focused solely on propulsion, announced a contract today with the Naval Energetics Systems and Technologies (NEST) Program to develop and hot fire test a prototype solid rocket motor (SRM) for the U.S. Navy’s Standard Missile (SM) program. Under this contract, Ursa Major will develop a new design and apply the company’s revolutionary manufacturing process to the Navy’s workhorse Mk 104 dual-thrust rocket motor in coordination with the Navy’s Program Executive Office Integrated Warfare Systems (PEO IWS) 3.0, Naval Air Warfare Center – Weapons Division at China Lake, and the Naval Surface Warfare Center at Indian Head. The Mk 104 SRM powers the Navy’s SM arsenal, including the SM-2, used for surface-to-air defense; the SM-3, used for ballistic missile defense; and the SM-6, an anti-air, land, and sea missile.

“PEO IWS is excited to work with Ursa Major on this effort to bolster a critical component of the Nation’s industrial base. The production of solid rocket motors is a top priority, and we are impressed with Ursa Major’s innovative approach to address manufacturing challenges,” said Captain Thomas Seigenthaler, the director of PEO IWS 3.0.

“We are proud of the Navy’s support and recognition of Ursa Major as a trusted partner to develop the next generation of Mk 104 solid rocket motors. Our new approach to manufacturing SRMs allows Ursa Major to quickly develop high-performing motors at scale, driving volume and cost efficiencies to address this critical national need,” said Ursa Major founder and CEO Joe Laurienti.

In 2022, the Missile Defense Agency stated that the SM-6 is the only missile capable of intercepting maneuverable hypersonic missiles. While the Mk 104 is a high-performance motor, legacy models are challenging to manufacture. Using the company’s cutting-edge Lynx production process for SRMs, Ursa Major will leverage additive manufacturing to design a high-performing motor built for manufacturability and reliability. Lynx, Ursa Major’s innovative new approach to designing and manufacturing SRMs, was introduced in November 2023. The manufacturing process uses additive manufacturing and a product-agnostic tooling system to rapidly produce scalable SRM systems without expensive or time-consuming re-tooling or re-training.

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