Category Archives: Missiles and Bombs

U.S. Air Force's Space Fence Detects Debris From India Anti-Satellite Test

U.S. Air Force’s Space Fence Detects Debris From India Anti-Satellite Test

The U.S. Air Force Space Fence system detected the breakup field from an anti-satellite test conducted by India during a scheduled endurance exercise of the new space surveillance radar. As MICROSAT-R was expected to pass through the un-cued surveillance fence, Space Fence automatically issued a “breakup alert” indicating there were multiple objects within close proximity. Space Fence observed a significant amount of debris tracks surrounding the time of the event crossing labeled as uncorrelated targets. Long-arc tracking was initiated within the orbital debris cloud to form accurate initial orbit determinations. With this information, the system was able to automatically predict and correlate the next crossing time.

Lockheed Martin system operators then prepared for the next crossing by setting up an enhanced sensitivity task volume ahead of the normal un-cued surveillance fence to increase the low altitude track duration. Although the Space Fence is currently in its test phase and not yet operational, the Space Fence un-cued surveillance coverage showed its unique ability to observe these events unfolding at different altitudes in real time. Although the anti-satellite test was conducted at approximately 300 kilometers, the debris cloud extended beyond the original parent object orbit.

Aerial view of Lockheed Martin Space Fence facility in Kwajalein Atoll

Aerial view of Lockheed Martin Space Fence facility in Kwajalein Atoll


“Although the Space Fence system is still under test, it continues to demonstrate its advanced capabilities providing operationally-relevant information in all orbital regimes from Low Earth Orbit through Geosynchronous Earth Orbit,” said Dr. Rob Smith, vice president and general manager of Radar and Sensor Systems for Lockheed Martin. “The criticality of space assets to both national defense and the world economy cannot be understated. As multiple new mega constellations consisting of thousands of satellites become a reality and the space domain continues to become more congested, the demand for more accurate and timely space situational awareness data will be of the utmost importance to the warfighter.”

The Space Fence system continues to track objects from the anti-satellite event through the government-led testing phase which began in early April. Colonel Stephen Purdy, Director of the Space Superiority Systems Directorate, Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, who oversees the Space Fence program said, “Space Fence is already proving itself as a capable system even before becoming operational. The Indian test showcased Space Fence’s capabilities in a real-world event. The system was able to quickly respond to a highly dynamic situation providing critical data. Space Fence is the latest in a long line of capabilities we are collectively bringing to the warfighter as we continue to build out space capabilities for the United States.”

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MD Helicopters MD 969 Attack Helicopter with Common Launch Tube (CLT)

MD Helicopters MD 969 Attack Helicopter with Common Launch Tube (CLT)

MD Helicopters, Inc. (MDHI) has enhanced the military capabilities of its powerful light twin-engine MD 969 Combat Helicopter with the addition of a custom, 7-shot Common Launch Tube (CLT) System designed by Systima Technologies. Able to deploy a range of guided munitions, sensors and small UAS/UAVs, the MD 969 CLT System can be configured with up to 7 lightweight AGM-176 Griffin missiles, making it one of the deadliest, precision-strike attack helicopters in its class. Subsequent CLT payloads, including a range of munitions and tactical off-board sensors (TOBS), will further expand the operational profile of the MD 969 Twin Attack Helicopter. The CLT is part of a flexible, roll-on/roll-off launch system that is easily integrated into existing platforms. The highly capable launcher has already allowed SOCOM forces to rapidly field a wide range of precision weapons and sensors necessary to support their people.

MD Helicopters MD 969 Attack Helicopter with Common Launch Tube (CLT)

MD Helicopters MD 969 Attack Helicopter with Common Launch Tube (CLT)


MD 969 Combat Attack Helicopter represents the next evolution of MDHI’s iconic MD 900/902 series helicopters. In a weaponized configuration the MD 969 Combat Helicopter represents the future assault and attack capabilities of this proven and powerful light twin-engine aircraft. The MD 969 Combat Helicopter also features a proprietary, MDHI-designed integrated composite weapons plank that allows for greater operational flexibility and expanded mission capabilities. The integrated plank allows for up to 6-station, fixed-forward weapons installation while maintaining unimpeded, full-cabin access to support simultaneous forward fire, crew-served weapons, and personnel transport missions.The up-to-8-seat MD 969 Combat Helicopter is single-pilot IFR certified, and safely and effectively executes a broad range of military, para-military and utility missions including Fast Attack, Combat Search & Rescue, CASEVAC/MEDEVAC, Command & Control, and Personnel Transport.

Tornado-G Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS)

Tornado-G Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS)

The Tornado-G multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) is designed and manufactured by SPLAV Scientific Production Enterprise, a company based in Russia. It is an upgraded variant of the BM-21 Grad MLRS, the new MLRS will provide improved tactical capabilities over its predecessor. Even though it looks remarkably similar to the BM-21 500-series Grad rockets, there are significant design changes especially in terms of the rocket motor and warhead. The Tornado-G rocket system is designed to destroy enemy fortifications and artillery systems with a high degree of precision. Equipped with automated targeting and navigation systems, the MLRS offers superior target engagement capabilities.

Tornado-G Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS)

Tornado-G Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS)


Development of this artillery rocket systems commenced in the 1990s. It was first revealed in 1998. However due to funding problems first order for 36 units was made only in 2011. The weapon system underwent a number of tests and successfully completed official testing by the Russian Armed Forces in January 2017. Splav Spa JSC revealed details of three upgraded 122 mm Grad rocket variants for the Tornado-G multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) at the 21–26 August 2018 Army International Military-Technical Forum in Kubinka, Russia. It was announced that by 2020 the Tornado-G will completely replace ageing BM-21 Grad in service with the Russian Army.
Tornado-G Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS)

Tornado-G Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS)


The range of Tornado-G MLRS firing these rockets is up to 20 km, less than the 30–40 km range achieved by the ‘500-series’ Grad rockets. The Tornado-G 9M538 HE Frag (high explosive, fragmentation) rocket is slightly shorter at 2.64 m when compared to the earlier 9M521 HE Frag (2.84 m in total length); although the warhead section is increased to 1 m in length. The Tornado-G 9M539 has a larger warhead that separates from the motor section and descends on to the target under a small parachute. A proximity fuze enables the spread of preformed and naturally-formed fragments in a circular pattern around the burst point and greatly improves lethality. The Tornado-G 9M541 ‘cargo’ rocket now has 70 dual-purpose HE/high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) submunitions instead of the previous 45.
Tornado-G Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS)

Tornado-G Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS)


The Tornado-G multiple launch rocket system is referred as 2B17. The launcher vehicle is based on Ural-4320 6×6 army truck is powered by a turbocharged YaMZ-238M2 diesel engine, which is rated at 240hp. The launch rocket systemn module is rectangular in shape and has the capacity to accommodate 40 launcher tubes, which can carry 122mm-calibre rockets weighing 70kg each. The rockets can carry a 40kg warhead, which is capable of penetrating through rolled homogeneous armour (RHA) with a thickness of 60mm to 100mm. The weapon system is capable of firing all artillery rockets simultaneously within a duration of 20 seconds. The artillery rockets carried by the escorting truck are reloaded manually by the onboard crew into the weapon system within seven minutes.

SeaRAM Anti-Ship Missile Defense System

SeaRAM Anti-Ship Missile Defense System

The SeaRAM is an anti-ship missile defence system against supersonic and subsonic threats including cruise missiles, drones and helicopters. designed and manufactured by Raytheon. The weapon system allows naval vessels to effectively engage high-performance, supersonic and subsonic threats including sea-skimming, anti-ship missiles, high-speed incoming vessels, rotary and fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters and other surface targets. Raytheon delivered an engineering model of the SeaRAM anti-ship missile defence system to the UK’s Royal Navy for suitability testing in 2001. Raytheon and the US Navy conducted test-firing of four blast test vehicles for measuring launch forces of the weapon system in late 2001.

SeaRAM Anti-Ship Missile Defense System

SeaRAM Anti-Ship Missile Defense System


The innovative SeaRAM system is an evolution of the MK15 Phalanx close-in weapon system (CIWS) and and the RAM™ guided weapon system, which entered service in 1980. The SeaRAM system combines the superior accuracy, extended range and high maneuverability of the RAM missile with the high resolution search-and-track sensor and reliable, quick-response capability of the Phalanx Block 1B system. An 11-missile RAM system launcher assembly replaces the Phalanx system’s 20 mm gun. An affordable capability upgrade, the SeaRAM above-deck system fits the exact footprint of the Phalanx system, uses the same power and requires minimal shipboard modification.
SeaRAM Anti-Ship Missile Defense System

SeaRAM Anti-Ship Missile Defense System


The low-risk SeaRAM anti-ship weapon system can be fitted to any class of ship and is designed to offer superior protection for marines and ships. The system is fitted with the same above-deck system and mechanical hardware as Phalanx CIWS and requires minimal shipboard changes. The above-deck system weighs 16,901lb. The SeaRAM close-range protection weapon system is equipped with a latest rolling airframe missile (RAM) guided-missile weapon system. RAM provides superior accuracy, extended range and high manoeuvrability. The SeaRAM self-contained system also employs Phalanx Block 1B CIWS’ high-resolution search and track radar and electro-optical sensor suite, which provides the RAM missile with reliable radio frequency, infrared (IR) detection and tracking capabilities to defeat both air and surface threats.

Rafael Teams with Lockheed Martin To Market SPICE Air-to-Surface Guidance Kits

Rafael Teams with Lockheed Martin To Market SPICE Air-to-Surface Guidance Kits

Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd., of Israel, signed a teaming agreement to jointly develop, market, manufacture and support Rafael’s Smart, Precise Impact and Cost-Effective (SPICE™) guidance kits for U.S. sale. The “SPICE” is an Israeli-developed, EO/GPS-guided guidance kit for converting air-droppable unguided bombs into precision guided bombs in a GPS-denied environment. Moreover, it is a ‘fire and forget’ weapon that automatically goes to its target once launching relying only on its navigation/seeker system. A derivative of the “Popeye” (AGM-142 Have Nap) air-to-surface missile, the “Spice” is a product of Israeli company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. In use since 2003, SPICE is combat-proven and in service with the Israeli Air Force and several other nations worldwide.

Rafael Teams with Lockheed Martin To Market SPICE Air-to-Surface Guidance Kits

Rafael Teams with Lockheed Martin To Market SPICE Air-to-Surface Guidance Kits


“Access to GPS is becoming increasingly limited in contested environments,” said Mr. Yuval Miller, executive vice president and general manager of Rafael’s Air & C4ISR Division. “SPICE provides a solution to this challenge. Finalizing this exclusive agreement sets the scene for our two companies to provide unmatched mid-range guided air-to-surface weapon systems to enhance mission flexibility and success.” “SPICE offers the U.S. Department of Defense and many allies a capability that no other weapon currently in inventory provides,” said John Varley, vice president at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “By applying our expertise in aircraft integration, mission planning and tailkit design, along with our experience in affordable streamlined production, we will adapt SPICE to meet U.S. standards so bomber and fighter aircraft can benefit from the added mission flexibility that SPICE offers.”
Rafael Teams with Lockheed Martin To Market SPICE Air-to-Surface Guidance Kits

Rafael Teams with Lockheed Martin To Market SPICE Air-to-Surface Guidance Kits


The teaming agreement covers the SPICE 1000 (1,000 pound/453 kilogram weight class) and SPICE 2000 (2,000 pound/907 kilogram weight class) kit variants. Over 60 percent of SPICE is already manufactured in the U.S. in eight states. The “Spice” munition is more advanced than most EO-guided bombs (GBU-15, for example), since it combines the advantages of satellite guidance (such as the ability to engage camouflaged and hidden targets; to provide a “drop-and-forget” option for several such targets simultaneously; and to operate in all weather and lighting conditions) and those of electro-optical guidance into one bomb – reducing the amount of munitions (and hence, payload) that an aircraft has to carry for a given strike mission, increasing its combat radius and maneuverability.

SOM-J Cruise Missile

SOM-J is an air-to-surface missile to be used against heavily defended, high-value anti-surface warfare and land targets. Lockheed Martin is teamed with Roketsan and is delivering experience and expertise to the SOM-J development team for F-35 internal carriage integration. SOM Cruise Missile (Turkish: Satha Atılan Orta Menzilli Mühimmat) is a next-generation high precision cruise missile, which can be launched from land, sea and air platforms developed by TÜBİTAK SAGE, Defence Research and Development Institute of Turkey. Although being developed by TÜBİTAK SAGE which still holds authority over the design of the missile, Roketsan has been given the role of producing and marketing the missile for export.

SOM-J Cruise Missile

SOM-J Cruise Missile


On 24 October 2014 Roketsan of Turkey and Lockheed Martin entered into a teaming agreement whereby the parties would modify, produce and market jointly a new variant of the SOM missile dubbed SOM-J for use in the internal carriages of the F-35. Certification efforts are in progress to enable the SOM missile for integration with both Turkish Air Force F-35 Lightning II and NATO allied F-35. Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control executive vice-president Rick Edwards has stated that the SOM missile developed by Roketsan is highly advanced and highly effective against command-and-control facilities, surface-to-air missile sites, parked aircraft and surface ships.
SOM-J Cruise Missile

SOM-J Cruise Missile


Due to its advanced design and performance, the SOM cruise missile is one of two cruise missiles to be integrated with the F-35, the other being the Joint Strike Missile developed by Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace of Norway. On the 10th of May 2013, Lockheed Martin had officially announced at the F-35 Industry Recognition Event during the IDEF tradeshow that the SOM missile will be certified and deployed on the F-35. The SOM Missile is the first non-U.S. made weapon to use the Universal Armaments Interface (UAI). Accordingly, the SOM missile can be integrated onto any platform which uses UAI.

Shershen Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM)

Shershen Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM)

The Shershen (Hornet) is a Belarusian third generation anti-tank guided missile (ATGM), based on Ukrainian ATGM Skif but reportedly with additional capabilities. Designed to defeat modern armored vehicles, protected objects (such as bunkers, pillboxes, earth-and-timber emplacements) and low-speed low-altitude targets (helicopters, UAVs). Shershen is designed to destroy armored vehicles equipped with explosive reactive armor (ERA) and can attack stationary and moving targets. Shershen also has automated fire and forget targeting mode that doesn’t require manual tracking of a target.

Shershen Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM)

Shershen Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM)


The “Shershen” base version consists of a tripod, a universal combat module, an anti-tank guided missile, a guidance device (PN-S) and a remote control, which allows the control of the unit from up to 100 m (with a wire channel) and up to 300 m (with radio). The two-man crew’s combat task is to assemble “Shershen”, find the target and launch. The pre-launch procedures, which include missile installation, PN-S connection and unit switch-on, take less than 2 minutes to complete. Once the missile is fired, the operator controls the “Shershen” and corrects the aim, if necessary, using the joystick on the remote control.
Shershen Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM)

Shershen Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM)


All modern armored targets can be destroyed, irrespective of where the missile hits them, using the РК-2 (cal. 130 mm) and Б-2М (cal. 152 mm) guided missiles. The Р-2В missile (can be used with “Shershen-Q” and unificated with ATGM “Barier-B” ) extends the maximum range to 7,500m. The ability to use different types of missiles without any system modification, in addition to a wide spectrum of targets makes it possible to consider this system not only as an ATGM, but as a mobile defence-assault fire system for infantry support up to battalion level.