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Author Topic: AIM-120 AMRAAM projects  (Read 40586 times)

Offline TinWing

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AIM-120 AMRAAM projects
« on: February 27, 2006, 06:02:56 am »
Does anyone have an information of the Hughes Asam-1, an AMRAAM derivative that was offered for the UK's cancelled MSAM requirement. 

The Asam-1 featured an enlarged diameter solid rocket motor and reached the flight testing stage in 1992. 
« Last Edit: May 08, 2006, 01:12:02 pm by overscan »

Offline sferrin

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Re: AIM-120 AMRAAM projects
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2006, 02:55:18 am »
Does anyone have an information of the Hughes Asam-1, an AMRAAM derivative that was offered for the UK's cancelled MSAM requirement. 

The Asam-1 featured an enlarged diameter solid rocket motor and reached the flight testing stage in 1992. 

And here I thought I was losing my mind.  I'd read about that back then and wondered what ever happened to it and then along comes ESSM and I thought "I could have sworn it was AMRAAM they'd made with a bigger motor and land launched".  Anyway here's a link to a video that was recently posted in the ejection seat thread on the Key Publishing forum.  The first part of the video is about thrust vector control of a land launched AMRAAM.  The interesting part (to me anyway) is that unlike ESSM it appears to have TVC until burnout.  Also note that the motor appears to pulse on and off during cruise just before it snaps up there at the end.

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Offline PaulMM (Overscan)

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Re: AIM-120 AMRAAM projects
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2006, 01:19:23 pm »
Hughes, later Raytheon, proposed an airbreathing AMRAAM derivative for the European FMRAAM requirement.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2006, 01:21:23 pm by overscan »
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Offline TinWing

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Re: AIM-120 AMRAAM projects
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2007, 11:20:21 am »
Finally, a close-up picture of the ASAM-1 and definitive proof that it had a 10-inch diameter motor.

http://forum.keypublishing.co.uk/showthread.php?p=1077692#post1077692

It is hardly a mystery why the program didn't proceed.  The UK effectively cancelled its MSAM requirment.  Without the UK as a potential launch customer, this intermediate capability missile didn't fit very easily into the post-Cold War market.  It is easy to sell a high end system with tactical ABM capabilities, such as Patriot, or a smaller missile in the MANPADS or VSHORAD segment such as Stinger/Mistral, but there have been few opportunities for land based systems that fall between the two extremes of capability.







« Last Edit: June 22, 2010, 12:40:11 am by overscan »

Offline PaulMM (Overscan)

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Re: AIM-120 AMRAAM projects
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2007, 01:41:26 am »
Raytheon's AMRAAM design

via http://www.dodmedia.osd.mil
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Offline Pyrrhic victory

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Re: AIM-120 AMRAAM projects
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2009, 04:52:49 pm »
Here are a few of pictures of the Raytheon AMRAAM mock-up found at the back of the F-15A section of www.defenseimagery.mil
Interestingly, an adapter was used on the semi-conformal AIM-7 wells on the F-15.

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Offline Colonial-Marine

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Re: AIM-120 AMRAAM projects
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2010, 09:26:55 pm »
I hadn't seen a topic for AIM-120 AMRAAM related projects so I figured I would start one here. There are a few designs I am curious about.

Back in the 80s/90s, Raytheon I believed offered the FMRAAM in a European competition that would end with the MBDA Meteor being selected as the winner. IIRC it was similar to the Meteor in that it used a ramjet to provide greater range and maneuverability. Was the FMRAAM developed any further? Since then Raytheon has offered the ERAAM and ERAAM+ which use a dual-pulse motor and are designed to be compatible with future propellants and technologies. What is the current status of these projects.

The AIM-120D is scheduled to enter service soon, and is said to offer a 50% increase in range among other things. Yet apparently a dual-pulse motor is not used? What has been changed or modified over the C5 motor to enable this?

Finally, not too long ago I saw a photo of what looked like an AMRAAM with a single relatively compact ramjet between the fins as opposed to the two featured on the FMRAAM and Meteor.


A press release from October 2009 gives some hints of potential further development to the AMRAAM family.

Quote
ATK Currently Supplies Propulsion Systems for All U.S. Fielded Air-to-Air Missiles
Technologies Developed will Position ATK to be the Propulsion Supplier of Choice for Counter-Air and Counter-Air Defense Missiles Developed for U.S. Services

Oct 29, 2009

MINNEAPOLIS, Oct. 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Alliant Techsystems (NYSE: ATK) has been awarded a research and development contract for the Counter Air / Future Naval Capabilities (CA/FNC) program to develop technologies that can be incorporated into next generation air-to-air missile systems. The nearly $10-million contract was issued by the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, China Lake, California. ATK will work in concert with NAWCWD to identify specific propulsion technologies to develop for integration into future missile systems. The work is expected to be completed by June 2013.

The scope of the CA/FNC program is to develop technologies that will extend missile range, decrease time-to-target, improve end-game maneuverability, and improve the rocket motor's response to insensitive munitions (IM) stimuli. These improvements are oriented towards the 7-inch diameter Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) that is currently in use by the U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, and many allied nations, but will be applicable to other air-to-air missile systems.

There are four main areas that ATK will be concentrating their development efforts on which include: high burn rate propellants for improved kinematics; improving case stiffness for reduced weight and agility; low erosion nozzles for improved performance; and multi-pulse propulsion for end-game maneuverability. Additionally, ATK will address the IM requirement by incorporating affordable solutions including an advanced propellant formulation, a low cost composite case, and mitigation safety devices proven on other tactical rocket motor programs.

http://atk.mediaroom.com/index.php?s=118&item=970
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Offline AeroFranz

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Re: AIM-120 AMRAAM projects
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2010, 06:41:33 am »
Raytheon's NCADE is being pitched as a ballistic missile intercept variant of the -120, featuring parts of the -9X sensor, new motor by Aerojet

more information here:

-http://www.raytheon.com/newsroom/rtnwcm/groups/rms/documents/content/rtn_rms_ncade_07-09_datasheet.pdf (company brochure)
-http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2009/06/04/327420/raytheons-ncade-survives-fy10-budget-cuts.html
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Offline Colonial-Marine

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Re: AIM-120 AMRAAM projects
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2010, 01:04:21 am »
Have any details been released about any upgrades the AIM-120D had to it's motor or propellant in order to gain the increased range?
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Offline sferrin

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Re: AIM-120 AMRAAM projects
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2010, 06:11:16 am »
Have any details been released about any upgrades the AIM-120D had to it's motor or propellant in order to gain the increased range?

AvWeek said it has a dual-pulse motor but there seems to be some dispute there.
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Online SpudmanWP

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Re: AIM-120 AMRAAM projects
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2010, 04:57:16 pm »
The Aim-120D DOES NOT have a Dual Pulse motor.

1.  ATK, the ONLY current maker of AMRAAM motors states that they only make two types of motors, the baseline and the PEP (extra 5 inches) motor introduced in the C5 model.

http://www.atk.com/capabilities_defense/cs_ms_w_trm_aam.asp

2.  Here is the PEP doc

http://www.atk.com/datasheet_PDFs/AMRAAM.pdf

3.  ATK just got (Oct 2009) a contract to develop the next generation of AMRAAM motor.  One of the technologies they are researching is a dual pulse design.  If it were already in the 120D, they would not have to develop it again.

http://atk.mediaroom.com/index.php?s=118&item=970

I think where everyone gets the idea of the 120D having dual pulse is that the AMRAAM currently has a dual propellant motor.  All AMRAAM motors have a "boost/sustain" grain type which may be the cause of the confusion.
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Offline Colonial-Marine

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Re: AIM-120 AMRAAM projects
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2010, 11:46:08 pm »
Alright, here is that picture of that AIM-120 variant I was looking for.



What is it? And is it in a janitor's closet or something (judging from the guy in back)?

Now would there be any benefit to designing a missile with a dual-pulse motor and ramjet or do they fulfill the same role?
« Last Edit: June 27, 2010, 11:47:54 pm by Colonial-Marine »
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Re: AIM-120 AMRAAM projects
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2010, 03:20:36 am »
They perform different roles.  A dual-Pulse motor will boost, from outside the targets MLD detection range, the AAM in a high arching profile.  In mid-flight the first pulse (think first stage that does not jettison) cuts out and the AAM coasts until it is well past it's apogee.  When the AAM is well into it's downward arch, it's 2nd pulse ignites when it is relatively close to the target.  This ensures that the AAM is gaining energy in the end-game and can take advantage of TVC if it has it.

A ramjet AAM just has a longer burn and never turns off until it runs out of fuel.

One benefit of Dual-Pulse is that the AAM can "sneak" up on a target as it's motor is off until it is very close.

As to what that missile is, best I can come up with is a VFDR testbed.

http://www.strategypage.com/militaryforums/6-52704.aspx
« Last Edit: June 28, 2010, 03:34:08 am by SpudmanWP »
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Offline sferrin

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Re: AIM-120 AMRAAM projects
« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2010, 05:21:07 am »
All AMRAAM motors have a "boost/sustain" grain type which may be the cause of the confusion.


No, the confusion comes from AvWeek saying it had a dual-pulse motor (like SRAM).  Everybody and their dog knows what boost-sustain grain profile is.  The new PAC-3 MSE also has a dual-pulse motor.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2010, 05:23:09 am by sferrin »
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Re: AIM-120 AMRAAM projects
« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2010, 08:11:37 am »
Then someone at AvWeek needs to be slapped for not doing their research.
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Offline sferrin

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Re: AIM-120 AMRAAM projects
« Reply #15 on: June 28, 2010, 08:54:02 am »
Then someone at AvWeek needs to be slapped for not doing their research.

Wouldn't be the first time. Won't be the last.
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Offline Colonial-Marine

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Re: AIM-120 AMRAAM projects
« Reply #16 on: June 29, 2010, 04:42:14 pm »
Looking at the line up showing the FMRAAM, ERAAM, and AMRAAM, I must wonder why the United States didn't invest in either FMRAAM or ERAAM? It sounds like either would have been a significant improvement.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2010, 04:43:54 pm by Colonial-Marine »
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Offline Abraham Gubler

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Re: AIM-120 AMRAAM projects
« Reply #17 on: June 29, 2010, 05:37:24 pm »
Of course the 1st quesiton is "why not an AAM"?  I'd think an Eagle could carry four on the fuselage where AIM-7s use to go.

No chance of the later just too big, too heavy and too draggy for conformal carriage. Its an ESSM missile with an AMRAAM seeker. As to why doesn't USAF order something like this with an air to air range of >200 NM? Because does it need it and could it even use it? Very long range active homing missiles are beloved by people who never have to fire one. The missile takes time to get from A to B and during that time the target can do a lot of stuff. Now if that time of flight is now 2-3 times longer than the longest range AMRAAM engagements then you giving a lot more time for the target to evade and significantly increasing your difficulty of tracking the target and updating the missile. To the extent that it just doesn't become worthwhile and you are throwing away multi million dollar missiles. For example the CWI Sky Flash had higher Pk than a non data linked AIM-120A (and therefore non target location updated) from Tornado ADVs at interception ranges of 25 NM. All this is why you won't see a serious high Pk long range (>200 NM) missile until hypersonics are ready.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2011, 10:44:07 pm by overscan »
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Offline sferrin

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Re: AIM-120 AMRAAM projects
« Reply #18 on: June 29, 2010, 07:26:40 pm »
Of course the 1st quesiton is "why not an AAM"?  I'd think an Eagle could carry four on the fuselage where AIM-7s use to go.

No chance of the later just too big, too heavy and too draggy for conformal carriage. Its an ESSM missile with an AMRAAM seeker. As to why doesn't USAF order something like this with an air to air range of >200 NM? Because does it need it and could it even use it? Very long range active homing missiles are beloved by people who never have to fire one. The missile takes time to get from A to B and during that time the target can do a lot of stuff. Now if that time of flight is now 2-3 times longer than the longest range AMRAAM engagements then you giving a lot more time for the target to evade and significantly increasing your difficulty of tracking the target and updating the missile.

Wouldn't SM-6 have to deal with this?  Why wouldn't this thing have mid-course updates available like any other AIM-120 or SM-6?   As for the weight, ESSM weighs in at ~625lbs IIRC which is significantly less than Phoenix, not to mention much slimmer. 
« Last Edit: June 29, 2010, 07:33:38 pm by sferrin »
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Offline Abraham Gubler

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Re: AIM-120 AMRAAM projects
« Reply #19 on: June 29, 2010, 07:35:17 pm »
I like to be a giver more than a taker so enjoy:
« Last Edit: November 26, 2011, 10:45:13 pm by overscan »
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Offline Abraham Gubler

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Re: AIM-120 AMRAAM projects
« Reply #20 on: June 29, 2010, 07:40:41 pm »
Wouldn't SM-6 have to deal with this?  Why wouldn't this thing have mid-course updates available like any other AIM-120 or SM-6?   As for the weight, ESSM weighs in at ~625lbs IIRC which is significantly less than Phoenix, not to mention much slimmer. 

SM-6 is a completely different missile with a modified seeker and different long range terminal engagement thanks to a lot more room in the nose of an SM-2 and money to spend in a USN funded project. It also does not have >200 NM engagement range and a much more energetic motors that reduces its time of flight over similar range compared to even an air launched ESSM. As to the weights and sizes of the Phoenix you forgot to mention length which is a major consideration for conformal F-15C carriage. Also the F-15C does not carry Phoenix missiles…
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Offline sferrin

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Re: AIM-120 AMRAAM projects
« Reply #21 on: June 29, 2010, 07:51:15 pm »
Wouldn't SM-6 have to deal with this?  Why wouldn't this thing have mid-course updates available like any other AIM-120 or SM-6?   As for the weight, ESSM weighs in at ~625lbs IIRC which is significantly less than Phoenix, not to mention much slimmer. 

SM-6 is a completely different missile with a modified seeker and different long range terminal engagement thanks to a lot more room in the nose of an SM-2 and money to spend in a USN funded project. It also does not have >200 NM engagement range and a much more energetic motors that reduces its time of flight over similar range compared to even an air launched ESSM. As to the weights and sizes of the Phoenix you forgot to mention length which is a major consideration for conformal F-15C carriage. Also the F-15C does not carry Phoenix missiles…

I'm aware that the F-15 never carried Phoenix in service.  My point in comparing it to Phoenix is that it's a lot smaller, and while it's wasn't light it wasn't such a boat anchor that the Tomcat never carried it.  As for length it's (RIM-162) the same as AIM-7 (which the Eagle carried conformally.)   You're talking about ~125lbs more than an AIM-7 for significantly more range.
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Offline quellish

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Re: AIM-120 AMRAAM projects
« Reply #22 on: June 29, 2010, 08:25:06 pm »
Supposedly SENIOR BLUE was an AMRAAM project for an anti-AWACS variant, but I have never been able to find anything other than rumors. I've had more luck connecting the BLU-114/B submunition to that PE code.
Nonetheless, the rumor is still kicking around.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2011, 10:46:13 pm by overscan »

Offline seruriermarshal

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Re: AIM-120 AMRAAM projects
« Reply #23 on: July 05, 2012, 04:49:35 pm »
Need more photo about AIM-120D .

Offline bobbymike

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Re: AIM-120 AMRAAM projects
« Reply #24 on: April 10, 2015, 12:43:45 am »
Next Gen AMRAAM Completes Operational Testing

4/10/2015

Raytheon, Air Force, and Navy testers recently completed operational test and evaluation of the latest Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) variant, paving the way for its initial operational capability, the company announced. "The AIM-120D represents a significant improvement in air-to-air weapons capabilities and the technologies it brings to the battlefield ...  in the air-to-air arena," company program director Ron Krebs said in an​ April 9 release. The missile performed outstandingly in a variety of challenging air-to-air scenarios across the spectrum of flight profiles, leading the Air Force to clear it for operational use, according to Raytheon. The Navy already declared AIM-120D IOC and plans to deploy the missile this year. The AIM-120D variant offers improved range, GPS-assisted guidance, updated datalinks, and jam resistance, in addition to greater lethality. Operational testing resumed in 2013 after earlier software and hardware glitches were addressed.
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Offline Dragon029

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Re: AIM-120 AMRAAM projects
« Reply #25 on: April 10, 2015, 01:41:17 am »
Do we know when the AIM-120D is meant to reach IOC?

Offline bring_it_on

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Re: AIM-120 AMRAAM projects
« Reply #26 on: April 10, 2015, 06:33:14 am »
Do we know when the AIM-120D is meant to reach IOC?

Quote
The latest version of the Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile, the AIM-120D, has been declared operational by the Air Force and Navy and now the program office is looking to add new electronic-attack protections through a software upgrade recently fielded on the AIM-120C7.
The services made positive fielding decisions on the Air Force F-15 and Navy F/A-18 in January after several rounds of optional testing in 2014, according to the Air Force's Program Executive Officer for Weapons Maj. Gen. Scott Jansson.
"The assets are being fielded as we speak," Jansson said in a March 26 phone interview with Inside the Air Force. "We continue to upgrade the AMRAAM to keep up with the latest threats."
AMRAAM is produced by Raytheon in Tucson, AZ, and has been in production since 1991 as the Defense Department's primary long-range, air-to-air weapon system.
The AIM-120D is the latest and most sophisticated variant. It entered development in 2004 and has greater range, maneuverability and accuracy compared to the current version, the AIM-120C7.
The program office recently received clearance to move the AIM-120D into full production. Last week, Raytheon received a $529 million contract for Lot 29 on top of the $491 million the company received last December for Lot 28. The contracts include orders for AMRAAM foreign military sales customers that are approved to procure prior versions of the AIM-120.
According to Jansson, the AMRAAM program is in good shape. He said the focus has now shifted toward hardening the AIM-120D against new forms of electronic attack.
In February, Air Combat Command began fielding an improved AIM-120C7. The missile has software changes for electronic protection, and a similar software load will be rolled into the AIM-120D line through an Electronic Protection Improvement Program.
"That capability is out there and will be incorporated into the D-model version of the missile as well, and that helps to address some of the latest electronic-attack capabilities that some of our potential adversaries are developing," Jansson said.
"That's what we expect to see on the AMRAAM for years to come . . . to keep ahead of some of the latest developments in the electronic-attack world to keep the missile reliable and its probability of weapons effectiveness, or kill rate, up where we want it to be," he added.
Raytheon has delivered more than 1,000 AIM-120Ds, according to a recent report by the Pentagon's director of operational test and evaluation.
There are several science and technology projects that aim to develop a next-generation AMRAAM capability, possibly an extended-range variant or even a completely new missile. Raytheon recently announced its development of a ground-launched AMRAAM-ER for air defense.
Jansson said DOD's current program would procure the AIM-120 at least through 2024. What type of capability comes next is not yet clear, he said.
"AMRAAM itself has got a fairly long future ahead of it," he said.
The Pentagon has spent more than $13.4 billion on AMRAAM since the program's inception in the late 1980s and the balance of the program is estimated at about $5.9 billion, according to the Pentagon's Selected Acquisition Report summary table for fiscal year 2014. DOD plans to spend $664 million on AMRAAM in FY-16 and $684 million in FY-17. -- James Drew

http://insidedefense.com/inside-air-force/raytheons-new-aim-120d-amraam-declared-ready-battle

Also from the article a couple of posts above this -

The Navy already declared AIM-120D IOC and plans to deploy the missile this year.
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Offline sferrin

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Re: AIM-120 AMRAAM projects
« Reply #27 on: April 10, 2015, 08:38:58 am »
Not only that but they've already delivered 1000 of them.  :o
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Offline Dragon029

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Re: AIM-120 AMRAAM projects
« Reply #28 on: April 10, 2015, 04:57:18 pm »
Sweet, I was just getting a bit confused by integration plans for the various platforms that intend to use it. This is getting slightly off-topic, but is the -120D being included with the F-35's SDD or Block 3F loadout? I've only ever seen "AIM-120" or "AIM-120C" being used in literature, but on the same token, the former term could mean all variants and the latter could be referencing the -120C7 designation.

Online SpudmanWP

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Re: AIM-120 AMRAAM projects
« Reply #29 on: April 10, 2015, 05:13:16 pm »
The SDD plans and software were being designed before the 120D was available, so that's a Block  timeframe before the 120D gets to the F-35.


That being said, the C7 program continues to get upgrades, especially to it's seeker and ECCM capabilities (all software based) so that C7 that files in the F-35 is better than the first C7 from years back.


Thankfully, when the next version of UAI get's done, it will bring A2A weapons into the realm of no longer needing block upgrades in order to get integrated.
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Offline fredymac

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Re: AIM-120 AMRAAM projects
« Reply #30 on: April 11, 2015, 03:56:50 pm »
I wonder if they are still sourcing the rocket motors from Nammo because Raytheon can't make environmentally correct rocket fuel which work in cold weather.  I wonder why that problem hasn't affected AIM 9 missiles.

From Wikipedia.....

Cold weather malfunctions

Finnish Defence Forces reported[31] on September 3, 2012 that the United States had not delivered any of the AMRAAM anti-aircraft missiles they had ordered due to a mysterious engine malfunction in cold weather. The manufacturer, Raytheon, has not been able to determine the cause of the problem. Colonel Kari Renko, an engineer at the Finnish Air Force, was quoted[31] by Helsingin Sanomat as saying, "The problem involves the rocket engines which have been in use for decades" and that Finland first was told of the problems by the Americans about two years ago. The reason for the malfunction has been determined to be a change in the chemical formula of the rocket propellant to comply with new environmental regulations. The change caused the supplier of AMRAAM rocket motors, Alliant Techsystems, to produce motors that were unreliable, especially in cold conditions where aircraft carrying them would fly. ATK has been unable to find a solution, and no new AMRAAM missiles had been delivered to the USAF since 2010 as a result. In late 2012, Raytheon solved the problem by selecting Norwegian ammunition manufacturer Nammo Raufoss to be their new supplier of AMRAAM rocket motors.[32]


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Re: AIM-120 AMRAAM projects
« Reply #31 on: April 11, 2015, 06:03:17 pm »
NAMO does not have to make the motors using the new fuel, hence them being able to.
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Re: AIM-120 AMRAAM projects
« Reply #32 on: April 16, 2015, 05:24:56 pm »
Has there been any news on that multi-pulse motor or any of the other upgrades Raytheon was investigating in that contract issued way back in 2009? I've never read anything more about that.
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Offline bring_it_on

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Re: AIM-120 AMRAAM projects
« Reply #33 on: June 06, 2015, 11:50:04 pm »
Is there any picture of the Aim-120D? The only one I could find was of the CATM 120D on a Navy Super Hornet



« Last Edit: June 06, 2015, 11:56:51 pm by bring_it_on »
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Re: AIM-120 AMRAAM projects
« Reply #35 on: June 07, 2015, 12:21:07 pm »
Thanks !!
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Re: AIM-120 AMRAAM projects
« Reply #36 on: January 13, 2016, 12:12:09 pm »
...
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Re: AIM-120 AMRAAM projects
« Reply #37 on: January 14, 2016, 02:08:37 am »
From Aviation Week Archive:
« Last Edit: January 14, 2016, 02:10:30 am by PaulMM (Overscan) »
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Offline bring_it_on

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Re: AIM-120 AMRAAM projects
« Reply #38 on: April 27, 2016, 02:54:28 am »
Australia cleared to acquire AIM-120D


Quote
Australia is set to become the first non-US operator of the latest Raytheon AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) variant following United States State Department approval of a potential USD1.22 billion AIM-120D AMRAAM Foreign Military Sales package submission from Canberra.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced on 25 April that Australia has requested up to 450 AIM-120D AMRAAMs; up to 34 AIM-120D instrumented air vehicles; up to six instrumented test vehicles; and up to 10 spare AIM-120 guidance sections to support the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) fleet of F/A-18A/B, F/A-18F, E/A-18G and F-35A Lightning II aircraft.

The AIM-120 AMRAAM is an all-weather, all-environment, active radar-guided beyond-visual-range/within-visual-range air-to-air missile, powered by a solid-propellant rocket motor and armed with a high-explosive fragmentation warhead.
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Re: AIM-120 AMRAAM projects
« Reply #40 on: June 26, 2016, 07:27:00 am »
Quote

"Depending on what type of platform you are flying, that will change your perception of what type of capability you require," Neil Jennings, AMRAAM's business development director at Raytheon Missile Systems told IHS Jane's  . "If you are flying a fourth-generation aircraft, and you know that the guy on the other side can see you, then of course you want a longer-range weapon; but if you're in a fifth-generation aircraft, a longer-range weapon would usually mean more size, more weight, and [be] larger to carry, and it's not necessarily a priority for you because if the other guys can't see you, then you don't have to engage them at super longer ranges. So the fifth-generation aircrew would probably want a smaller weapon so that they can cram more of them in their weapons bay - they'll be smaller, more agile, more manoeuvrable, and cheaper."

In September 2013, Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control unveiled two company-funded potential extended-range AAM initiatives, which it proposed as concepts of interest under the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Air Dominance effort at the Air Force Association exhibition.

Under the Supersonic Testbed Risk Reduction initiative, Lockheed Martin is examining air-breathing and rocket propulsion, including multipulse motors, hit-to-kill technology, and different guidance on a future weapon in the same size class as the AIM-120 AMRAAM. Another initiative, Cuda, is described as a miniature (about half the size of an AMRAAM), radar-guided multirole hit-to-kill missile, designed to increase the air-to-air weapons load out on platforms such as the F-35 and F-22. The Cuda's range has not been disclosed, but it is believed that one variant could provide for a two-stage solution similar in total length to AMRAAM, and potentially offering an increased range or wider engagement envelope. Lockheed Martin declined to expand on either initiative, noting, "We're not currently in a position to discuss these, other than to say the Cuda programme is active and ongoing."...


AMRAAM has been significantly enhanced in the past 25 years, and the latest D variant was only cleared for operational use in 2015, after a protracted developmental and testing programme that began in 2006.

"When we think about generations of weapon, AMRAAM is definitely a fifth-generation weapon, that is based on the fact that there have been five major redesigns of the missile, incorporating large numbers of new hardware, major processors, and software improvements," said Jennings.

A development of the earlier AIM-120C, AIM-120D (P3I Phase 4, formerly known as AIM-120C-8) retains the same PN G672798-1 Plus 5 solid propellant rocket motor of the AIM-120C-5 and C-7 variants. However, AIM-120D delivers significant improvement in no-escape envelope and high-angle off-boresight capabilities over earlier variants. The missile now incorporates GPS-aided navigation for improved mid-course guidance and a two-way datalink for greater control over the missile's end-game targeting. The AIM-120D also features revised guidance software to improve kinematic performance and overall effectiveness, and improved electronic counter-countermeasures (ECCM).

Jennings said, "The AIM-120C-5 extended the range of the AIM-120B fairly significantly, by shortening the control actuation system in the back and adding fins to the back end of the rocket motor. That added pretty decent range capability when you go from AIM-120B to AIM-120C-5. The C-7 and the D share the same rocket motor, and the same form, fit, function, size, and control actuation system. And both the C-7 and D have the same rocket motor as the C-5. Throughout AMRAAM's development, there have been improvements into the flight profile of the missile to get to the target. These improvements have led to range increases as well, and the jump from the B to the C-7 was fairly significant. The D can fly slightly farther than the C-7, and the C-7 can fly farther than the C-5. But this range increase is in the order of low double-digit percentages."

Jennings declined to discuss the specific range parameters of the D model, but noted, "As I look to the future and the new platforms emerging potentially from Russia and China, the airframe is something we will have to account for, especially in terms of radar signature. However, there is very little today that the AIM-120C-7 and AIM-120D cannot find and intercept."

Jennings said that he is currently unaware of plans to add ramjet propulsion to improve the range of the AIM-120D. "Raytheon, as well as some of the US government investigation agencies have continuously gone back and looked at how to optimise the range for AMRAAM, and there have been discussions of changing the propellants and doing other things in that area to increase the range. If we were to add a ramjet motor, would that solve all our problems? The answer is no."

Jennings continued, "There are a very small number of long-range scenarios where a ramjet-equipped AMRAAM might be an advantage, but those scenarios are fairly marginal, and once you get inside a certain range as you are approaching a target, a ramjet motor on an AMRAAM becomes not an advantage, but a disadvantage: because of the weight [of the missile] and the time to get it going - ramjet motors are initially slower than an AMRAAM motor - you are not going to necessarily get the missile to the target faster and make the kill in the amount of time that you need for it to happen."

Jennings said that performance enhancements to the AIM-120D will be delivered through a series of System Improvement Programs (SIPs). Since the AIM-120D was fielded in January 2015, the programme office conducted SIP-1 integrated testing with two live missile shots in March and May 2015. Operational testing for SIP-1 began in January 2016, and a SIP-2 upgrade is currently in planning. Jennings declined to expand on the specific nature of the enhancements provided under the SIP initiatives, noting, "The [SIP] programmes [are] designed to ensure that AIM-120D remains on the cutting edge. AMRAAM is a fully re-programmable weapon and a lot of what we can and will do to AMRAAM in the future will involve software updates. We are already looking at potential threats that will be on the scene in 2020-25 and beyond, and are now discussing SIP 3, SIP 4, and SIP 5 upgrades in terms of how can we design into the weapon those features that will optimise it to defeat those threats."

The programme office is currently looking to add new electronic-attack protection capabilities to the missile, through a software upgrade recently fielded on the AIM-120C-7. A network-enabled capability has also been mooted as a future enhancement for AIM-120D, although Jennings declined to comment on this.
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Re: AIM-120 AMRAAM projects
« Reply #41 on: June 26, 2016, 08:12:04 am »
Quote

"Depending on what type of platform you are flying, that will change your perception of what type of capability you require," Neil Jennings, AMRAAM's business development director at Raytheon Missile Systems told IHS Jane's  . "If you are flying a fourth-generation aircraft, and you know that the guy on the other side can see you, then of course you want a longer-range weapon; but if you're in a fifth-generation aircraft, a longer-range weapon would usually mean more size, more weight, and [be] larger to carry, and it's not necessarily a priority for you because if the other guys can't see you, then you don't have to engage them at super longer ranges. So the fifth-generation aircrew would probably want a smaller weapon so that they can cram more of them in their weapons bay - they'll be smaller, more agile, more manoeuvrable, and cheaper."

In September 2013, Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control unveiled two company-funded potential extended-range AAM initiatives, which it proposed as concepts of interest under the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Air Dominance effort at the Air Force Association exhibition.

Under the Supersonic Testbed Risk Reduction initiative, Lockheed Martin is examining air-breathing and rocket propulsion, including multipulse motors, hit-to-kill technology, and different guidance on a future weapon in the same size class as the AIM-120 AMRAAM. Another initiative, Cuda, is described as a miniature (about half the size of an AMRAAM), radar-guided multirole hit-to-kill missile, designed to increase the air-to-air weapons load out on platforms such as the F-35 and F-22. The Cuda's range has not been disclosed, but it is believed that one variant could provide for a two-stage solution similar in total length to AMRAAM, and potentially offering an increased range or wider engagement envelope. Lockheed Martin declined to expand on either initiative, noting, "We're not currently in a position to discuss these, other than to say the Cuda programme is active and ongoing."...


AMRAAM has been significantly enhanced in the past 25 years, and the latest D variant was only cleared for operational use in 2015, after a protracted developmental and testing programme that began in 2006.

"When we think about generations of weapon, AMRAAM is definitely a fifth-generation weapon, that is based on the fact that there have been five major redesigns of the missile, incorporating large numbers of new hardware, major processors, and software improvements," said Jennings.

A development of the earlier AIM-120C, AIM-120D (P3I Phase 4, formerly known as AIM-120C-8) retains the same PN G672798-1 Plus 5 solid propellant rocket motor of the AIM-120C-5 and C-7 variants. However, AIM-120D delivers significant improvement in no-escape envelope and high-angle off-boresight capabilities over earlier variants. The missile now incorporates GPS-aided navigation for improved mid-course guidance and a two-way datalink for greater control over the missile's end-game targeting. The AIM-120D also features revised guidance software to improve kinematic performance and overall effectiveness, and improved electronic counter-countermeasures (ECCM).

Jennings said, "The AIM-120C-5 extended the range of the AIM-120B fairly significantly, by shortening the control actuation system in the back and adding fins to the back end of the rocket motor. That added pretty decent range capability when you go from AIM-120B to AIM-120C-5. The C-7 and the D share the same rocket motor, and the same form, fit, function, size, and control actuation system. And both the C-7 and D have the same rocket motor as the C-5. Throughout AMRAAM's development, there have been improvements into the flight profile of the missile to get to the target. These improvements have led to range increases as well, and the jump from the B to the C-7 was fairly significant. The D can fly slightly farther than the C-7, and the C-7 can fly farther than the C-5. But this range increase is in the order of low double-digit percentages."

Jennings declined to discuss the specific range parameters of the D model, but noted, "As I look to the future and the new platforms emerging potentially from Russia and China, the airframe is something we will have to account for, especially in terms of radar signature. However, there is very little today that the AIM-120C-7 and AIM-120D cannot find and intercept."

Jennings said that he is currently unaware of plans to add ramjet propulsion to improve the range of the AIM-120D. "Raytheon, as well as some of the US government investigation agencies have continuously gone back and looked at how to optimise the range for AMRAAM, and there have been discussions of changing the propellants and doing other things in that area to increase the range. If we were to add a ramjet motor, would that solve all our problems? The answer is no."

Jennings continued, "There are a very small number of long-range scenarios where a ramjet-equipped AMRAAM might be an advantage, but those scenarios are fairly marginal, and once you get inside a certain range as you are approaching a target, a ramjet motor on an AMRAAM becomes not an advantage, but a disadvantage: because of the weight [of the missile] and the time to get it going - ramjet motors are initially slower than an AMRAAM motor - you are not going to necessarily get the missile to the target faster and make the kill in the amount of time that you need for it to happen."

Jennings said that performance enhancements to the AIM-120D will be delivered through a series of System Improvement Programs (SIPs). Since the AIM-120D was fielded in January 2015, the programme office conducted SIP-1 integrated testing with two live missile shots in March and May 2015. Operational testing for SIP-1 began in January 2016, and a SIP-2 upgrade is currently in planning. Jennings declined to expand on the specific nature of the enhancements provided under the SIP initiatives, noting, "The [SIP] programmes [are] designed to ensure that AIM-120D remains on the cutting edge. AMRAAM is a fully re-programmable weapon and a lot of what we can and will do to AMRAAM in the future will involve software updates. We are already looking at potential threats that will be on the scene in 2020-25 and beyond, and are now discussing SIP 3, SIP 4, and SIP 5 upgrades in terms of how can we design into the weapon those features that will optimise it to defeat those threats."

The programme office is currently looking to add new electronic-attack protection capabilities to the missile, through a software upgrade recently fielded on the AIM-120C-7. A network-enabled capability has also been mooted as a future enhancement for AIM-120D, although Jennings declined to comment on this.
Thank you for posting BIO. The clarification on ramjets acceleration was great.. Maybe better for an arsenal plane.. Net enabled? There is time and purpose for that added cost?

Offline bring_it_on

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Re: AIM-120 AMRAAM projects
« Reply #42 on: June 26, 2016, 09:29:30 am »
I think there may be a realization that you may actually need a faster time to target at medium ranges than to look to expand the longest range engagements compared to what is currently possible. The little Boeing revealed about its T3 missile, they were quick to emphasize that it flew 'faster' than the Aim-120. There may be a realization that the opponent is going to put quite a bit of 'price' on long range targeting so it may be beneficial to focus on Medium ranges.
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Re: AIM-120 AMRAAM projects
« Reply #43 on: June 28, 2016, 01:38:35 pm »
The lack of interest or slow-pace the DoD has been investigating further AMRAAM upgrades or replacement is a bit troubling. The reduced initial acceleration of ramjet assisted designs hasn't deterred the Europeans, Russians, or Chinese from actively investing in such missiles.

Even as an interim step an "AIM-120E" with multi-pulse rocket motor and potentially an AESA seeker would seem to be a good investment.
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Re: AIM-120 AMRAAM projects
« Reply #44 on: June 28, 2016, 02:47:45 pm »
I don't think there has been a slow pace at all. The JDRADM, DRADM-T, SITES ,NGM etc (actually the warhead portion is probably directly related to longer range, besides lethality) efforts were ambitious, and timely in order to get something significantly more capably than the AMRAAM/HARM by 2020. Those were 'deliberately' cut since their absence was deemed as an acceptable risk going forward. I don't agree with some of those decisions but I don't blame them for dragging their feet but something has to give when you are spending the kind of money in OCO, and have the Budget Control Act piled on top of it.

However the RAMJET, vs no RAMJET debate is nothing new and I believe they are well within the trade space to seek to improve the speed and shorten the engagement time. There are multiple ways to get longer range, with dual or multi pulse motors being something that has been tried on other programs. Ultimately, there are other considerations such as targeting and getting good quality targeting at long range and those are going to be far bigger challenges when the PAKFA's, J-20's and low-RCS UCAV's and bombers proliferate. How to get the missile to fly out at longer distances, with higher end game performance is actually a reasonably low-risk challenge for them to overcome.

Quote
The reduced initial acceleration of ramjet assisted designs hasn't deterred the Europeans, Russians, or Chinese from actively investing in such missiles.

There are different considerations. Its just not the missile, its also the platform, the network, the situational awareness and EW that all feed into superiority in the air. Your spending naturally needs to be balanced and if you are going to spend heavily in certain areas you must take risk in others. Recapitalizing the fighter fleet, and developing a robust EW strategy is probably a much more pressing need.

« Last Edit: June 29, 2016, 03:26:43 am by bring_it_on »
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Offline bring_it_on

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Re: AIM-120 AMRAAM projects
« Reply #45 on: July 13, 2016, 03:06:20 am »
Interesting slide shared by Tim Robinson on Twitter (Meteor presentation - EFTyphoon farnborough 2016). I guess adding a pulsed motor could narrow the gap considerably as opposed to the heavier VFDR solution.

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Offline bring_it_on

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Re: AIM-120 AMRAAM projects
« Reply #46 on: July 14, 2016, 10:58:21 am »
Excerpts from an AvWeek article from James Drew :

Quote
In concert with its investigation into next-generation aircraft, the Air Force is examining new weapons that will equip current-generation and tomorrow’s fighters.
The service recently introduced the latest Amraam variant, the AIM-120D, and has initiated an electronics upgrade project that overcomes the latest adversary countermeasures. Air Combat Command has been exploring the dual-mode MBDA Brimstone missile for a close air support requirement, but Carlisle says there have been no significant discussions yet about adopting MBDA’s beyond-visual-range Meteor air-to-air missile.

“Brimstone’s a great weapon; by the way, as is Meteor. But we really haven’t gotten into discussions about Meteor because we’re not there yet in terms of what’s the follow [to] Amraam,” he says. “We have to get to the next level missile [beyond the AIM-120],” he says. “We’re doing improvements and modernization of the AIM-120 and we’ve got a program that has modernized that. It’s showing good success, but we need to get to—and we’re not there yet—a longer-range, more capable and potentially multiple-seeker, broad-spectrum [weapon]. As we finish modernizing the AIM-120, the next thing we have to do is get to that next missile.”

BTW, as per the latest SAR (FY15) the AMRAAM-D procurement is expected to end in 2024, with 6500+ missiles acquired ..
« Last Edit: July 14, 2016, 11:51:50 am by bring_it_on »
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Re: AIM-120 AMRAAM projects
« Reply #47 on: November 26, 2016, 08:03:18 pm »
...
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Re: AIM-120 AMRAAM projects
« Reply #48 on: May 12, 2017, 08:03:07 pm »
AMRAAM orders could shrink before upgrades are fielded, Raytheon says


Quote
A Raytheon official says the Air Force is mulling how to procure Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles while the service waits for the company to finish upgrades.

"I think it's a balancing act between filling the stores they need with the most advanced missile that we're making today, versus waiting for something that maybe could be upgraded even further down the road," Ron Krebs, senior director for AMRAAM, said in an April 21 phone interview. "I think they're wrestling with that somewhat. We haven't really been given any clear direction in that regard."

Raytheon is finishing delivery of Lot 29 missiles this year and plans to cut in new updates after Lot 32. The Air Force may lower the number of 120D-variant missiles it buys for a few lots while the form, fit, function, refresh obsolescence upgrades known as F3R are completed, Krebs said. He believes that decision could depend on world events and "how important it is to get more 120Ds into their system."

The Air Force declined multiple requests for comment on AMRAAM.

Those considerations come as Congress last week appropriated $337.8 million for Air Force AMRAAM procurement in the fiscal year 2017 omnibus spending bill signed May 5 -- $12.3 million less than was requested because of a "pricing adjustment." Another $62.5 million was allocated for research and development.

The Air Force will buy 256 AIM-120D missiles in Lot 31 this year, according to the service's FY-17 budget documents. Funds will also go toward building and modifying test equipment to support AIM-120D production, updating the missile's data package to make sure its design remains viable, developing the supplier base and addressing problems like obsolescence and manufacturing shortages.

The Air Force awarded a Raytheon a $573 million Lot 30 contract in March 2016, and Krebs expects to see a Lot 31 contract later this fiscal year. A Pentagon selected acquisition report published in March 2016 notes the F3R upgrades, which will offer faster processors and new memory, were planned to cut into the latter part of Lot 31 in FY-19.

"The Lot 28 contract, with priced options for Lots 29 and 30, was awarded on Dec. 22, 2014 for $492 million. Lot 29 contract option was awarded on March 24, 2015 for $529 million," the report stated, later adding: "As of Dec. 31, 2015, Raytheon has delivered 1,498 of 2,074 AIM-120D missiles on contract and has delivered 1,548 of 2,400 AIM-120C7 FMS missiles on contract (through Lot 29)."

Krebs also said the Air Force is considering extending the length of the AIM-120D program of record by at least one lot past Lot 38, which would be delivered in the mid-2020s.

"What we're planning right now is, the F3R configuration would go basically to the end of the program," he said. "We would do some obsolescence updates over time, but we don't really have any plans for any, I'll say, step function and designs or anything like that as we go forward. It'll mostly be in evolutionary upgrades as we take advantage of the processors and [field-programmable gate arrays] that are in the missile."

Krebs added that he expects the program to ramp up somewhat over the next decade and said the company could increase production by about 20 percent. That possibility is also being discussed, he said, but that "it's probably going into the hopper with all the rest of the weapons requests."

"We have been preparing, if possible, to up our rate of production if necessary or asked, and we've certainly gone through those exercises," Krebs said. "Air-to-ground weapons seem to be a little bit more in demand because they've got some shortages, and I think air-to-air is maybe taking a little bit of a backseat to that."

"If you look at the inventory numbers for AMRAAM, they're well below their desired inventory, whatever that means," he continued. "At some point, they will end up increasing the numbers, and we've given the Air Force various proposals on ways that we can increase our production even higher than what we're currently set up for."

Those tweaks could include changes to test equipment, Krebs said.

The Air Force is moving through tests for system improvement programs on the AIM-120D known as SIP-1 and SIP-2, which offer software upgrades and look at aircraft integration and issues found in developmental and operational testing. Operational test for SIP-1 finished in FY-16, according to the annual report from the director of operational test and evaluation released in January. The second SIP is on schedule, Krebs said, and is slated to finish in FY-18.

The March 2016 selected acquisition report stated SIP-1 fielding was projected for the fourth quarter of FY-16, with SIP-2 to be fielded in the first quarter of FY-19 and SIP-3 to come in the first quarter of FY-21.

Krebs did not elaborate on how those tests are progressing but said Raytheon is meeting the necessary requirements to deal with "the latest advanced threats."

On May 2, the Air Force posted a Federal Business Opportunities notice for future AMRAAM program acquisitions from fiscal year 2020 through FY-29, with work ending Sept. 30, 2032. New contracts are expected to encompass: growth in the AIM-120D system improvement programs; changes to software on the AIM-120C3 through C7 missiles; testing and simulation for integration onto the F-15, F-16, F/A-18, F-22, F-35 and foreign platforms; upgrades for test facilities; test laboratory management; and contractor support at missile test sites.

Raytheon deferred to the Air Force when asked for more details on the FBO notice, and the service had no additional information.
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Offline bring_it_on

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Re: AIM-120 AMRAAM projects
« Reply #49 on: May 29, 2017, 07:50:30 am »
On the VFDR AMRAAM :

Quote
Typical full-duration VFDR AMRAAM (7-in. class) tests – including pre-fire and post-fire run-ups – required 400 to 600 lbm of air. A block diagram of the facility layout is provided in Fig. 1. Approximately 85% of the VFDR AMRAAM engine tests were performed at this facility. A VFDR AMRAAM ramjet engine is shown on the test stand in Fig. 2.

During a ramjet engine test in the McGregor facility, air from the trailer entered the test facility through a single 3-in. feed line, which then split the flow into two smaller 2-in. feed lines. The air passed through dual-stage pressure regulators to provide a constant pressure to the system, even though the storage tank pressure was diminishing during operation. The regulators also ensured that system pressure never exceeded the design pressure of the pebble bed heating vessels.

Each of the smaller 2-in. lines fed an adjustable single-set-point regulator that reduced trailer pressure to a constant intermediate value of choice. Air at this reduced pressure entered a programmable regulator, which controlled air pressure to a downstream metering venturi according to a preset schedule. The dual-stage regulation greatly enhanced the precision tracking of the command pressure profile. Each of the two lines could pass a maximum 11-lbm/sec airflow, thus giving the facility a maximum capability of 22 lbm/sec. The air storage tanks are illustrated in Fig. 3.

The dual airflow lines ran through independent metering venturi stations and through electric pebble-bed heaters. One line dumped air into a heater with a capacity of 1150 R, while the other line ran through a larger heater with a capacity of 1500 R. Piping from the heaters to the test article was electrically heated and insulated to minimize temperature losses. By using different pebble-bed heater temperature set points and mixing air from each of the two lines, the total air flow rate and delivered temperature of the air to the test article was modulated to simulate dynamic flight trajectories. By providing total temperatures up to 1500 R, the facility effectively could achieve Mach 3 sea-level conditions and Mach 3.8 at higher simulated altitude. The large capacity pebble bed heater is shown in Fig. 4.

NEXT-GENERATION PROPULSION REQUIREMENTS


Tactical air-breathing propulsion provides solutions with extended range capability and increased average flight speed. With government added emphasis on time-criticality in next-generation propulsion systems, it became apparent to the NAVSEA/ATK team that the environments would be more severe than what could be simulated by the McGregor facility. During the VFDR AMRAAM program the McGregor facility was consolidated and transferred to the NAVSEA Allegany Ballistics Laboratory site in Rocket Center, WV. It was recognized that the benefits of using a facility arrangement similar to the McGregor storage heated facility would provide accurate clean-air ramjet engine test environments, real-time trajectory capability, as well as cost-effective testing for the end user. Also, by using clean-air methodologies at high pressures, the facility could be widely used to generate data for heat shield and aero- thermal research on materials and flight vehicle airframes.

The facility requirements were defined based on the foreseeable tactical propulsion needs for U.S. interest. The facility was developed to be expandable provided the airflow rate and/or temperature requirements change. But most importantly, the unit had to provide realistic, high-performance airflow to the test vehicle, accurately simulating air-breathing engine flight. The zones identified for near-term need are displayed in Fig. 5.

Three zones were identified that generally encompass the foreseeable tactical propulsion need for ramjet propulsion engines. The first and largest zone represents air-launched missiles, such as VFDR AMRAAM and HARM propulsion upgrades. The second, middle, zone identifies foreseeable improvements to the speed of cruise missile systems such as Tomahawk. The third zone identifies the general region to expect supersonic vehicles that provide kinetic-energy-kill capability such as Future Combat System (FCS), or compact KE missile applications. Figure 5 illustrates a Mach-Altitude flight regime and is overlaid with representative lines of constant total temperature. This provides information as to the temperatures expected in subsonic combustion air-breathing vehicles. Airflow capacity is a function of the engine size, primarily, so the facility was designed upgrade-capable to meet these future needs.

The primary design consideration became the heating methodology. Many forms were considered, including vitiated and storage heaters, but for ramjet engine takeover at low Mach and high altitude, and high Mach flight at high temperature, only the storage heating systems met future high technology evaluation criteria.

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Offline sferrin

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Re: AIM-120 AMRAAM projects
« Reply #50 on: May 29, 2017, 07:53:07 am »
"Typical full-duration VFDR AMRAAM (7-in. class) tests – including pre-fire and post-fire run-ups – required 400 to 600 lbm of air. A block diagram of the facility layout is provided in Fig. 1. Approximately 85% of the VFDR AMRAAM engine tests were performed at this facility. A VFDR AMRAAM ramjet engine is shown on the test stand in Fig. 2.

During a ramjet engine test in the McGregor facility, air from the trailer entered the test facility through a single 3-in. feed line, which then split the flow into two smaller 2-in. feed lines. The air passed through dual-stage pressure regulators to provide a constant pressure to the system, even though the storage tank pressure was diminishing during operation. The regulators also ensured that system pressure never exceeded the design pressure of the pebble bed heating vessels."

Like a nanoscale version of the Project Pluto test setup.  ;D
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Offline lastdingo

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Re: AIM-120 AMRAAM projects
« Reply #51 on: May 29, 2017, 08:37:59 am »
The lack of interest or slow-pace the DoD has been investigating further AMRAAM upgrades or replacement is a bit troubling. The reduced initial acceleration of ramjet assisted designs hasn't deterred the Europeans, Russians, or Chinese from actively investing in such missiles.

Even as an interim step an "AIM-120E" with multi-pulse rocket motor and potentially an AESA seeker would seem to be a good investment.

More on AESA seekers for a AIM-120 follow-on missile:

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=4993.msg307099;topicseen#msg307099
(topic: AESA seeker for Patriot successor)

http://defense-and-freedom.blogspot.de/2017/03/technological-lag.html
(topic: AESA in air combat missiles in general)

Offline bring_it_on

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Re: AIM-120 AMRAAM projects
« Reply #52 on: May 29, 2017, 08:52:21 am »
Quote
The lack of interest or slow-pace the DoD has been investigating further AMRAAM upgrades or replacement is a bit troubling. The reduced initial acceleration of ramjet assisted designs hasn't deterred the Europeans, Russians, or Chinese from actively investing in such missiles.

Even as an interim step an "AIM-120E" with multi-pulse rocket motor and potentially an AESA seeker would seem to be a good investment.

Obsolesce issues aside, the Aim-120D is likely the last major AMRAAM project overhaul. They have looked at it multiple times, and at various stages starting from the late 1990s and into the 2000s. Each time, short of a basic kinematic increase through a motor upgrade they had decided to move towards a new weapon.

Even in 2010 timeframe, the Air Force had decided upon a two pronged approach towards a new missile. One focused towards an AMRAAM class, high performance, near full spherical capability weapon that was  dual use  and another focused towards higher magazine depth for internal carriage of current and future fighters, bombers and unmanned aircraft. The T3 was built into the JDRADM/NGM program and successfully demonstrated what it set out to. That program (JDRADM/NGM) was cancelled during its MSA, but the T3 that was incorporated in it was fully funded to completion. I think the best approach going forward is to pick off where this program left off, i.e. continue to build upon the T3 and enter into a technology development phase of that class of missile, and continue to pursue the SACM, on its time-lime. The aim would be to field the JDRADM based weapon in the 2025-2027 time-frame, and a SACM in the early 2030s.

On AMRAAM, they can continue to replace obsolete parts but most importantly, buy it in right quantities so that it can replace a bulk of the older variants.

https://www.scribd.com/document/349693929/JDRADM

From a purely kinematic perspective, the Army has an 7" Aerojet dual pulse motor not different in size from the AMRAAM. This in addition to any other work AFRL may have done in that domain.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2017, 09:43:36 am by bring_it_on »
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Offline bring_it_on

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Re: AIM-120 AMRAAM projects
« Reply #53 on: June 05, 2017, 02:30:20 pm »
Status of Ramjet Programs in the United States Patrick W. Hewitt
Aerojet. 5945 Wellington Road. Gainesville, Virginia 20155 AIAA 2008-5265




Quote

VFDR-FVC PROGRAM


Aerojet is conducting the Variable Flow Dueled Rocket - Flight Vehicle Concepts (VFDR-FVC) program for the US Air Force and Raytheon. The primary goal for the VFDR-FVC Program is to advance the successful US Air Force VFDR propulsion section by adapting it to be compatible with internal carriage in the F-22, and to define an appropriate flight test vehicle and test program. A secondary goal for the program was the development of tactical missile design concepts for Dual Range Missile (DRaM), Dual Role Missile (DRoM) and a Dual Range/Dual Role Missile (DRRM).

The VFDR missile layout is shown in figure 10. This solid fuel ducted rocket engine was the result of over twenty years oftechnology development by the USAF Wright-Patterson in ihe 1980’s and 1990’s. The two aft inlets are located 90° to each other for reasons of aircraft launch station fitment on external stations. Internal carriage presents different packaging constraints and limits the loadout for the VFDR configuration. The VFDR-FVC program sought to develop an alternate inlet and steering control design that was compatible with internal carriage as well as all legacy launch aircraft stations. The tactical designs are required to be one-for-one interchangeable with the AIM-] 20 AMRAAM, on any station and/or loadout option, in any combination inside the F/A-22. In addition they could be carried on the F-15, F-16, F-35 and unmanned combat air vehicles (UCAVj as well as Navy- specific aircraft such as the F/A-18.

Following a mechanical design study to identify available volumes within the aircraft bays, several options for inlet placement were identified. These options included a chin inlet similar to that used on the ASALM and SLAT flight vehicles; two modified single aft-mounted undentlung inlets; four aft-mounted inlets in an annulus around the missile body, a single underslung aft inlet, and deployable inieis that reveal a boundary layer diverter after opening.

The configuration ultimately selected was a single aft mounted underslung inlet, as shown in figure 11. This traded favorably with regard to performance, missile integration, and external aerodynamics.


The performance of the installed inlet was documented in a scries of wind tunnel tests, which provided detailed maps on inlet characteristics to support engine and missile performance modeling. The inlet test hardware is shown in figure 13. Mach numbers were tested from 1,8 to 4.0, pitch angles from -5° to 15°, and sideslip angles up to 5°. Bleed patterns for both vamp and throat regions were also evaluated. Additionally, data was gathered on repeatability, Reynold’s number effects, and start/reslart characteristics.


The single inlet dump also presents a challenge in combustor design. The tum-and-dump elbow must be designed to efficiently turn the air with minimum pressure losses, and mix with the fuel to promote high combustion efficiency. Modeling of the dump geometry was performed as illustrated in figure 14 to form a basis for future connected pipe testing. The initial results indicate that the flow turning losses should be comparable to the 2-inlet VP DR, Optimization o f the fuel injector and combustor flow management will be the subject o f fittrue work.



« Last Edit: June 06, 2017, 12:57:22 am by flateric »
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Offline bring_it_on

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Re: AIM-120 AMRAAM projects
« Reply #54 on: June 05, 2017, 04:01:55 pm »
Wingspan commonality with the Aim-120C seems to have been a major design goal . Seems to be a major drawback for the Meteor configuration as far as F-22A integration is concerned.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2017, 04:35:21 pm by bring_it_on »
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Offline Steven

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Re: AIM-120 AMRAAM projects
« Reply #55 on: June 05, 2017, 11:55:40 pm »
Isn't the inlet configuration of the Meteor partly driven by conformal carriage requirements for the Typhoon? Otherwise it would seem odd to deliberately design the missile with different maneuverability in different body planes. The issue seems less pronounced on the VFDR AMRAAM with the chin-mounted inlet.

Speaking of which, is the F-22's bay capable of accommodating the AIM-120A/B without the clipped tail surfaces? It's difficult to tell because the packing of the clipped fin AIM-120C already looks very tight inside the bays.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2017, 10:19:33 am by Steven »
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Offline bring_it_on

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Re: AIM-120 AMRAAM projects
« Reply #56 on: June 06, 2017, 02:18:04 am »
If the thesis that I posted in the T3 thread is accurate, the difference in the wingspan accounting for the inlet and the control fins is quite significant. 20 inches for the meteor configuration compared to 12.5 for Aim-120C on the F-22.

I don't think the Inlet on the VFDR AMRAAM is limiting carriage since the fins probably contribute more to the packing challenge. But then on the raptor's bay the missiles are not lined right next to each other.

The inlets on the other hand would have likely challenged a 6 Meteor carriage on the raptor and may do the same if MBDA wishes to attempt to pack 6 internal meteor's on the F-35 to match the expanded future carriage growth with the AMRAAM.

Thanks Flateric for the colored shots  :)...
« Last Edit: June 06, 2017, 02:21:22 am by bring_it_on »
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Offline Steven

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Re: AIM-120 AMRAAM projects
« Reply #57 on: June 06, 2017, 10:17:53 am »
I accidentally misspoke, I meant that the inlet configuration on the VFDR AMRAAM seems less limiting on carriage compared to the Meteor. The inlets on the Meteor extend the span of the tail surfaces substantially.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2017, 10:21:08 am by Steven »
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Offline bring_it_on

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Re: AIM-120 AMRAAM projects
« Reply #58 on: June 06, 2017, 12:11:52 pm »
Yes considerably so even if you were to clip the Meteor's fins as they are doing for the F-35 integration. You still have to account for intakes on the sides that run the length of the propulsion section. Its not the most optimized configuration from a tight packing point of view when it comes to internal bay configurations, unless one designs a larger bay specifically with it as the baseline weapon.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2017, 04:50:45 pm by bring_it_on »
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Offline Steven

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Re: AIM-120 AMRAAM projects
« Reply #59 on: June 06, 2017, 04:33:19 pm »
It still puzzles me why the Meteor chose to not have an axisymmetric inlet configuration. I understand that conformal carriage in the recessed AMRAAM launchers on the Typhoon was a design driver but the resulting dissymmetry in the different maneuvering planes and the possible need to trim due to asymmetric drag would make it seem like a less-than-ideal solution. Furthermore, based on this AIAA report it would appear as if the inlet performance between the Meteor and VFDR AMRAAM were comparable, while the latter appears to be compatible with anything the Meteor is designed to be compatible with (i.e. conformal carriage stations on the Typhoon), plus more. This just makes me further wonder why they didn't choose the latter configuration from the get go. I'm not sure if the geometry of the Meteor would enable efficient waveriding.

I believe a VFDR, by nature of the longer burning motor, would also likely be more detectable by infrared missile launch detectors like the system the F-22 and F-35 is equipped with, and it can allow for longer response time for countermeasures, though the higher average speed of such a missile may negate that.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2017, 01:48:24 pm by Steven »
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Offline bring_it_on

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Re: AIM-120 AMRAAM projects
« Reply #60 on: June 19, 2017, 06:33:46 am »
Raytheon to leverage hypersonic R&D for next-generation AAM solution


Quote
Raytheon Missile Systems (RMS) is expected to leverage its expanded research in hypersonic weapons technologies to inform the development of its next-generation air-to-air missile solution as a follow-on to the current AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) capability....

Bussing said that the company expects to fly a demonstrator from one/or both of the TBG or HAWC programmes in "the near-to-mid-term".

In the interim, Bussing said, Raytheon is party to the trade studies that will inform the weapons development and selection for the US Air Force's prospective next-generation air dominance platform. "Raytheon, by definition, is the biggest missile house, certainly in the free world, and the Air Force flies AIM-9Xs, AMRAAMS, which are the type of things you'd expect to see on these advanced aircraft, so we are actively involved in those future trade studies. Everything from low speed sub-sonic weapons to hypersonic weapons will be considered within that trade space. At this point, these are all studies, but in all likelihood the government will be looking at the full gambit of possible options."

In terms of the AIM-120 AMRAAM/AIM-9X product line, we are looking at the follow-on generation for these and other weapon systems. Part of the interest in investing as we have across the hypersonic weapons space is that you can leverage that suite of game-changing technologies to deliver, we believe, some very unique capabilities - not just game-changing, but asymmetric enablers and differentiators. And a future hypersonic air-to-air application is certainly part of that trade space.


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Offline danwild6

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Re: AIM-120 AMRAAM projects
« Reply #61 on: June 08, 2018, 09:18:40 pm »
Anyone hear about the development of an 4 stack amraam launcher for each of the the f-35 weapons bays?

Online SpudmanWP

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Re: AIM-120 AMRAAM projects
« Reply #62 on: June 08, 2018, 09:20:28 pm »
Never.

Only ever seen a 2-per A2G station for the F-35.
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Offline TomS

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Re: AIM-120 AMRAAM projects
« Reply #63 on: June 09, 2018, 03:52:58 am »
There are concepts for three AMRAAM in each bay.  Never heard of four. It's probably volumetrically impossible.

http://www.airforcemag.com/DRArchive/Pages/2017/March%202017/March%2028%202017/Let’s-Do-More-Shots.aspx
« Last Edit: June 09, 2018, 11:04:16 am by flateric »

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Re: AIM-120 AMRAAM projects
« Reply #64 on: June 09, 2018, 10:32:05 am »
« Last Edit: June 09, 2018, 10:35:03 am by SpudmanWP »
WE4-45-1-08     OMHIWDMB
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Offline FighterJock

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Re: AIM-120 AMRAAM projects
« Reply #65 on: June 14, 2018, 02:16:09 am »
An interesting concept, I think that it is strange how Lockheed Martin never designed the F-35 with bigger internal weapons bays to begin with.

Offline TomS

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Re: AIM-120 AMRAAM projects
« Reply #66 on: June 14, 2018, 02:59:45 am »
They designed to the requirements.  Anything bigger would have cost and weighed more, in an aircraft that had weight and cost issues.

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Re: AIM-120 AMRAAM projects
« Reply #67 on: Today at 12:47:23 am »
I just published update of AIM-120C study using Missile-SIM

https://jaesan-aero.blogspot.com/2018/10/aim-120c-study-using-missile-sim-part-2.html

https://jaesan-aero.blogspot.com/2018/10/aim-120c-study-using-missile-sim-part-1.html

I will review the possibility of CUDA class / ramjet type missile in Part 3 and 4