Category Archives: Missiles and Bombs

Draper awarded $191M for Trident missile guidance system

Draper awarded $191M for Trident missile guidance system

The U.S. Navy has awarded Charles Stark Draper Laboratory Inc. a $191 million contract for the Trident II weapons system as the Pentagon upgrades its nuclear weapons arsenal. The contract includes technical support and research into the guidance, navigation and control applications for the U.S. and British D5 MK6 systems, the Department of Defense announced Friday. Work, which is expected to be completed by July 31, 2022, will be performed at Draper’s plant in Cambridge, Mass., as well as Clearwater, Fla., Pittsfield, Mass., and McKinney, Texas. If all options on the deal are exercised, the total value of the contract would be $391.8 million and add a year onto the contracted work period.

Draper has designed and supported the guidance system for all fleet ballistic missiles since the program began in 1955. The Trident II D5, named for the three-pronged spear of mythology’s King Neptune, was developed by Lockheed Martin. The Draper Lab contract extends the life of the D5 missiles to the year 2040 by replacing obsolete components with commercial off-the-shelf hardware. The first flight test of the guidance system was in early 2012 aboard the ballistic missile submarine USS Tennessee. In February 2018, Draper signed a $132.9 million contract for Trident’s failure verification, test, repair and recertification of inertial measurement units, electronic assemblies and electronic modules for the U.S. and British systems.

An unarmed Trident II D5 missile launches from the submarine USS Maryland off the coast of Florida on Aug. 31, 2016.

An unarmed Trident II D5 missile launches from the submarine USS Maryland off the coast of Florida on Aug. 31, 2016.


The Trident II Weapons System is the U.S. and British’s primary submarine-launched nuclear ballistic missile fleet. They are launched from the Navy’s 14 Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines and from four British Royal Navy Vanguard-class ballistic-missile submarines. These vessels together carry about half of all U.S. strategic thermonuclear warheads. They are also planned for the Navy’s future Columbia-class submarine. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2021, with the vessels expected to enter service in 2031. Draper has been obligated $189.5 million from fiscal 2019 Navy weapons procurement funds and $1.5 million in United Kingdom funds, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.

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Wind tunnel testing moves AMRAAM-ER missile closer to production

Wind tunnel testing moves AMRAAM-ER missile closer to production

Raytheon Company successfully completed more than 1,700 rigorous wind tunnel tests on the newest, extended-range variant of the combat-proven AMRAAM air-to-air missile. Testing is a major step in the missile’s qualification for integration with the NASAMS™ surface-based system. The AMRAAM-ER missile is a ground-launched weapon that will intercept targets at longer distances and higher altitudes. The missile’s bigger rocket motor and smarter flight control algorithms give it a boost in range.

“During these tests, we put AMRAAM-ER through a full range of potential flight conditions to validate the missile’s future performance on the battlefield,” said Kim Ernzen, Raytheon Air Warfare Systems vice president. “Raytheon is developing this missile to enhance ground-based air defense for our customers worldwide.” Raytheon engineers will now analyze data from the wind tunnel test runs to verify and update the AMRAAM-ER missile’s aerodynamic models to maximize its performance.

Raytheon engineers recently completed wind tunnel testing on a new, extended-range variant of the AMRAAM air-to-air missile. Testing is a key step in qualifying the missile for the NASAMS launch system.

Raytheon engineers recently completed wind tunnel testing on a new, extended-range variant of the AMRAAM air-to-air missile. Testing is a key step in qualifying the missile for the NASAMS launch system.


The AMRAAM-Extended Range missile is a new, ground-launched solution that will intercept targets at longer distances and higher altitudes. The AMRAAM-ER missile gets its boost in range from a bigger rocket motor and smarter flight control algorithms. Designed specifically for ground-based air defense, the AMRAAM-ER missile will be integrated into the NASAMS launcher to provide increased air defense protection in the medium range air defense market. NASAMS is deployed by seven countries, and is on contract for two more, and has been integrated into the U.S.’ National Capital Region’s air defense system since 2005. The AMRAAM air-to-air missile packs unprecedented performance into a lightweight, cost-effective package. Because of the weapon’s ongoing modernization and proven performance, it continues to deliver the highest dependability and versatility.

The National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS™) is a highly adaptable mid-range solution for any operational air defense requirement. The system provides the air defender with a tailorable, state-of-the-art defense system that can maximize their ability to quickly identify, engage and destroy current and evolving enemy aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicle and emerging cruise missile threats. NASAMS is owned by nine countries and has been integrated into the U.S. National Capital Region’s air defense system since 2005. In addition to the U.S., Norway, Finland, Spain, The Netherlands, Oman, Lithuania, Indonesia and one undisclosed country have chosen to depend on NASAMS for homeland defense and the defense of critical assets. Together with Norwegian partner KONGSBERG Defence and Aerospace, AS, Raytheon continues to integrate new capabilities into NASAMS to develop and field highly capable and fully integrated solutions.

Norway fired an AMRAAM®-Extended Range missile from a NASAMS™ high mobility launcher during an international flight test.

Norway fired an AMRAAM®-Extended Range missile from a NASAMS™ high mobility launcher during an international flight test.

Netherlands orders Thales Multi Mission Radars (MMR)

Netherlands orders Thales Multi Mission Radars (MMR)


The Dutch Ministry of Defense awarded Thales a contract for nine Multi Mission Radars (MMR) designed for artillery, air surveillance, air defense, and security applications. This project is part of the ‘Nederland Radarland’ platform launched in 2002 to ensure the coherency of radar research by the Dutch science and technology community, and alignment and co-ordination of research programmes to achieve maximum synergies. The contract value was not disclosed, but the Dutch government gave a range of EUR100-250 million (USD113-282 million) in its November 2018 Defence Industry Strategy. The radars will be delivered to the Royal Netherlands Army (RNLA) starting in mid-2021.

Royal Netherlands Army commander lieutenant general Leo LJA Beulen said: “Due to its unique true multi-mission capability, the MMR will not only set the conditions for winning battles at long-range by accurate target acquisition, the MMR will also enhance the RNLA air defence capability by addressing the evolving air threat, including rocket, artillery and mortar, and unmanned air systems.” Thales Netherlands naval VP Geert van der Molen said: “The Netherlands has a leading position in the field of radar development. Therefore, the ‘Nederland Radarland’ platform was established in 2002. This project is a perfect example of the results of this platform. The unique and long-lasting cooperation between the military experts of the Royal Netherlands Army and Thales has led to an extreme modern multi-mission solution, ready for today’s and tomorrow’s threats.”

Netherlands orders Thales Multi Mission Radars (MMR)

Netherlands orders Thales Multi Mission Radars (MMR)


The Thales Multi Mission Radars (MMR) marketed as the GM200 MM/Compact is the latest version of the T- and S-band active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar family, developed for ground applications including air surveillance, weapon locating, and counter-battery missions. The MMR can be used for a large number of tasks: artillery support, 3D airspace surveillance and air defense. Also consider other security applications, such as locating weapons. The system can simultaneously detect, track and fully classify a large number of air targets. It can even distinguish individual tracks in a fire salvo. Its size has been limited by applying the most modern technologies, so the MMR is therefore particularly mobile and is easy to transport on a standard truck.

Thales has designed a 100%-digital system, the TLS755 Multi-Mode Receiver, that integrates all onboard reception functions needed for precision navigation and landing. Right from the beginning, Thales designed in full scalebility for the TLS755, through a highly modular design that allows this unit to keep pace with all applications, including the Satellite Based Augmentation System (SBAS), Ground Based Augmentation System (GBAS) and MLS. Because of Thales breadth of expertise, all functions on the TLS755 – ILS, GNSS, MLS, GLS – were developed in-house, for guaranteed compatibility.

Netherlands orders Thales Multi Mission Radars (MMR)

Netherlands orders Thales Multi Mission Radars (MMR)

Russian Tor-M2DT anti-aircraft missile system trains to defend the Arctic

Russian Tor-M2DT anti-aircraft missile system trains to defend the Arctic


The Tor-M2DT anti-aircraft missile system crews have started practicing in order to prepare for potential battles in Yeysk (Krasnodar Krai), southern Russia. Russia is setting up a special unit armed with an advanced version of Tor-family autonomous short-range anti-aircraft missile system, called the Tor-M2DT, ready to fight in the Arctic as tensions over the region’s allegedly vast oil and gas wealth reserves grow. The first units of the Tor-M2DT have been handed over to representatives of the Armed Forces and will now be sent to the North. At the technical, special and tactical training sessions, the Tor-M2DT crews master the capabilities of the new air defense systems, after which they will have to carry out combat shooting at high-speed air targets. Tor-M2DT is an Arctic variant of the Tor-M2 SAM missile system designed for anti-aircraft and anti-missile defense at the level of a battalion air wing.

Russian Tor-M2DT anti-aircraft missile system trains to defend the Arctic

Russian Tor-M2DT anti-aircraft missile system trains to defend the Arctic


The TOR-M2DT (NATO reporting name: SA-15 Gauntlet) is a Russian-made short-range air defense missile system using the TOR-M2 missile launcher station. The system adapted to severe climatic conditions is intended to operate at extremely low temperature and difficult terrain. The Tor-M2DT autonomous short-range anti-aircraft missile system is designed for air and ballistic missile defense at the battalion level. It can be used to provide coverage for key administrative facilities and forward forces against the attacks of anti-radiation and cruise missiles, glide bombs, planes, helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles. The system is especially designed to be used for Arctic region based on the chassis of the DT-30PM tracked all-terrain vehicle which consists of two tracked vehicle units linked by a steering mechanism. The second vehicle is used to carried the TOR-M2 missile launcher station. The TOR-M2DT is developed by the Russia`s JSC Izhevsk Electromechanical Plant Kupol (a subsidiary of the Almaz-Antey Concern).
Russian Tor-M2DT anti-aircraft missile system trains to defend the Arctic

Russian Tor-M2DT anti-aircraft missile system trains to defend the Arctic


The system has 16 vertical-launched air defense missiles with a range of 12 kilometers (7.4 miles) and an altitude of up to 10,000 meters and can operate in manual and automatic modes. It monitors the airspace autonomously and downs all aerial targets that have not been identified by the friend-or-foe system. The TOR-M2DT is fitted with a TOR-M2 missile launcher station mounted on the roof of the second vehicle of a DT-30PM-T1 all-terrain amphibious vehicle. The missile system is equipped with two 9M334 modules, each containing four 9M331 and 9M332 surface-to-air guided missiles in four transporting-launching containers which are used to store, transport and launch the missiles. This missile uses the vertical cold launch technique, with a charge ejecting the round vertically from the transport and launch canister. The proximity fuse transmit antenna is in the missile nose, which also contains the transmitter. The fuse receiver, command link receiver and autopilot are all clustered in the centre section of the missile. The warhead is situated between the guidance section and motor. The turret of the TOR-M2 also includes a 25 km 360° search radar mounted at the rear and 15 km 60° tracking radar at the front.
Russian Tor-M2DT anti-aircraft missile system trains to defend the Arctic

Russian Tor-M2DT anti-aircraft missile system trains to defend the Arctic


The TOR-M2DT is based on the chassis of the DT-30PM-T1 tracked articulated tractor (DT stands for ‘articulated tractor’ in Russian), an all-terrain vehicle which consists of two tracked vehicle units linked by a steering mechanism. The DT-30PM is especially designed to be used in the harsh climatic conditions of the Arctic region. The first vehicle of the DT-30PM is a tracked platform with water-displacing sealed all-welded body housing a crew cabin for 4 – 7 people equipped with autonomous heating and air ventilation systems, power plant, transmission and a cargo compartment located at the rear of the crew cab. The missiles launcher station is mounted on the roof of the second tracked chassis vehicle. The DT-30PM has a curb weight of 31,500 kg, a payload of 30,000 kg and a length of 16.08 m, width of 3.10 m and a height of 3.33 m. The TOR-M2DT uses the same chassis and powerpack as the standard DT-30PM. The vehicle is motorized with a V-shaped, 12-cylinder multi-fuel diesel engine YaMZ-847.10 developing 800 hp. The DT-30PM can run at a maximum road speed of 45 km/h with a maximum cruising range of 700 km. The DT-30PM can negotiate gradients up to 30° and slope of 15°. It can cross a trench of 4.5 m width and a vertical obstacle of 1.2 m.

Guided Advanced Tactical Rocket (GATR)

Guided Advanced Tactical Rocket (GATR)


Guided Advanced Tactical Rocket (GATR) is a guided advanced precision strike system being jointly developed by Elbit Systems and Alliant Techsystems (ATK). ATK is responsible for the rocket propulsion system, mid-body warhead and fuse applications, while Elbit Systems supplies seeker and guidance equipment. The rocket is being advertised in the UK by Ferranti Technologies. GATR is being developed as part of the Defence Acquisition Challenge (DAC) programme to supply the US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) with an affordable and lightweight guided missile / rocket. ATK systems and Elbit Systems received a $3.2m contract in April 2013 to provide an affordable and lightweight guided precision rocket and precision guided rocket launcher (PGRL) to the USSOCOM for evaluation.

Guided Advanced Tactical Rocket (GATR)

Guided Advanced Tactical Rocket (GATR)


GATR supports lock-on before or after launch as well as autonomous or remote laser designation. It can be more effective in air-to-ground or ground-to-ground operations against lightly armoured targets, as well as quickly moving and stationary targets. GATR uses semi-active laser (SAL) guidance to effectively and accurately engage fixed and moving targets. It fills the gap between unguided rockets and expensive guided rockets. GATR is designed to destroy toughened targets while minimising collateral damage. GATR can be launched from fixed wing platforms, rotary wing platforms and ground platforms. The rocket is also compatible with existing 2.75″/70mm launcher hardware. The system can be used in urban environments due to its precision and less indirect damage.
Guided Advanced Tactical Rocket (GATR)

Guided Advanced Tactical Rocket (GATR)


GATR uses the laser reflected from the surface of the target to locate the target precisely. It carries an SAL seeker in its nose section for guidance. The laser light is imposed on the target by a source off board. The laser transmitter source can be on the ground or an aerial source. GATR employs foldable canards for steering. It features automatic locking of the target before or after firing. GATR carries a digitally fused M282 multipurpose penetrator warhead. The M282 is encased in steel and weighs 13lb. The warhead enables the GATR to penetrate semi-armoured targets and hard targets. The super quick detonating mechanism is employed against soft targets. The delayed fuse is helpful in case of hardened targets, allowing the missile to explode the warhead after penetration into the target
Guided Advanced Tactical Rocket (GATR)

Guided Advanced Tactical Rocket (GATR)


GATR benefits from a robust design, which combines combat-proven performance, a minimum smoke signature and the reliability of an ATK-produced propulsion system, similar to a system employed on millions of rockets produced for the United States Army. GATR contains a guidance and control system built with the experience of Elbit Systems’ heritage in high-performance laser seekers for the United States and international customers. It employs advanced acquisition, tracking and guidance algorithms to achieve one-meter accuracy against stationary and moving targets. In its tactical configuration, GATR will incorporate an Insensitive Munitions (IM) rocket motor and a family of IM warheads to include blast/fragmentation and penetration.
Guided Advanced Tactical Rocket (GATR)

Guided Advanced Tactical Rocket (GATR)

BAE Systems Advanced precision kill weapon system (APKWS)

BAE Systems awarded $225M for APKWS laser-guided rocket

The Naval Air Systems Command in Maryland has awarded a $225 million contract to BAE Systems Information and Electronic Systems Integration Inc for the delivery of over 9000 additional units of the Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) II by September 2020. BAE Systems is awarded $225 million for delivery order N0001919F2701 against a previously awarded contract to procure 9,999 additional Lot 7, full-rate production units of the Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) II, the Defense Department said.

Also added that the procurement of the additional APKWS II weapons will upgrade the current 2.75-inch rocket system to a semi-active laser guided precision weapon in support of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and the governments of Nigeria and the Netherlands. Work will be performed in Hudson, New Hampshire; and Austin, Texas, and is expected to be completed in September 2020.

BAE Systems Advanced precision kill weapon system (APKWS)

BAE Systems Advanced precision kill weapon system (APKWS)


On 14 April 2014, the US signed an agreement with the Jordanian Air Force for the sale of the APKWS for use on their CN-235 gunship. On November 2014, the US approved the sale of up to 2000 APKWS rockets to Iraq, and on June 2015 a sale of six A-29 Super Tucanos to the Lebanese Air Force included 2000 APKWS rockets for use on the turboprops, totalling at $462 million. To date, the rocket has achieved over a 93% hit rate according to BAE Systems.

APKWS upgrades 2.75-inch (70 mm) rockets to a semi-active laser guided precision weapon. The system is a design conversion for Hydra 70 unguided rockets turning them into low-yield precision-guided munitions to help avoid collateral damage. The APKWS is a 2.75-inch laser-guided rocket aimed at engaging lightly armoured point targets, putting it between unguided rockets such as the Hydra 70 and anti-armour munitions such as the AGM-114 Hellfire. It is equipped with the WGU-5/B mid-body guidance unit, which features DASALS seeker optics which deploy 0.5 seconds after launch. This unit is installed between the Mk 66 Mod 4 rocket motor and warhead, which increases the rocket length by 47cm and weight by 4.1kg, in comparison to the Hydra system.

BAE Systems Advanced precision kill weapon system (APKWS)

BAE Systems Advanced precision kill weapon system (APKWS)

Nammo HE-ER 155 mm artillery ammunition

Nammo HE-ER 155 mm artillery ammunition


While artillery traditionally has been limited to a maximum range of 20-30 km, recent years have seen the introduction of new systems that support a maximum range of more than 40 km. In February 2013, Nammo started to develop a new family of conventional 155 mm artillery ammunition, specially designed for long range. The new shell design is known as the 155 mm IM HE-ER (Insensitive Munitions, High Explosive, Extended Range). It provides artillery forces with the ability to effectively target both personnel and vehicles at ranges over 40 km with very good accuracy – and it does so without adding any guidance systems or submunitions. Instead, Nammo has drawn on its experience from two other areas of expertise – rocket motors and sniper ammunition – to design one of the most capable conventional shells on the market.

Nammo is marketing its 155 mm IM HE-ER projectiles with an interchangeable base bleed (BB) unit or a hollow base (HB) unit. It can be fired from 155 mm 39- and 52-calibre towed and self-propelled artillery weapons whose ordnance meet the NATO Joint Ballistic Memorandum of Understanding (JBMOU). The 155 mm IM HE-ER projectiles are complemented by illuminating, smoke, and practice projectiles, which also have interchangeable BB or HB units. The 155 mm illuminating projectile is available in two versions: white light and infrared (IR), with the former lasting 60 seconds and the latter 90 seconds. The 155 mm illuminating contains three red phosphorous canisters that have brake flaps, which are claimed to make them effective in deep snow and marsh. The 155 mm training projectile has been qualified and is available in two versions: inert with no energetics or a small explosive spotting charge.

Nammo HE-ER 155 mm artillery ammunition

Nammo HE-ER 155 mm artillery ammunition


In 2016 Nammo reached a significant milestone in the development program when the 155 mm IM HE-ER completed its qualification trials. The test was a demonstration for the Swedish Armed Forces, and the rounds were fired from the Swedish Archer Gun System. A total of 32 live rounds were fired, all functioned as intended with a low dispersion in the target – High Precision at Long Distance. This followed an extensive test program that included environmental, transportation and firing tests. Such testing is a complex and rigorous process, and requires access to highly specialized test areas. During the maximum range test, when fired over the important benchmark range of 40 km at sea level, parts of the airspace over southern Sweden had to be closed off as the shells reached over 16 000 meters (more than 50 000 feet) into the air in less than a minute. By comparison, most airliners fly at altitudes between 30 and 40 000 feet.

Nammo experience from rocket motors has allowed us to fit the shell with a small rocket motor known as a base bleed. A base bleed is essentially a small rocket installed at the base of a shell that is ignited when it is fired. As it burns, the base stabilizes the airflow over the projectile, reducing drag, and thereby adding range. Nammo is today one of the world’s leading providers of rocket motors for anti-air missiles, including the AMRAAM, the AIM-9X Sidewinder, and the ESSM, and we have used this experience to also become the largest manufacturer of base bleeds for ammunition. Nammo experience from sniper ammunition has also benefited the design of the new shell, as high-performance sniper ammunition faces many of the challenges as long-range artillery ammunition. When firing at extended distances both suffer from the fact that even extremely small variations in materials and shape can change the airflow and weight distribution of the projectile, affecting what is known as its ‘ballistic properties’.