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Author Topic: AIM-120 AMRAAM projects  (Read 43942 times)

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]


Offline SpudmanWP

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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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Offline Colonial-Marine

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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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Offline 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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Offline PaulMM (Overscan)

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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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Offline bring_it_on

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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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Offline jsport

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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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Offline Colonial-Marine

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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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Offline bring_it_on

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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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