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Author Topic: Army Indirect Fire Protection System and New Guided Missile Program  (Read 73906 times)

Offline bobbymike

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Army To Develop Multi-Mission Launcher For Indirect Fire Protection


Posted: Mar. 28, 2014

The Pentagon has approved the Army's plan to begin a technology maturation and risk-reduction phase of the Indirect Fire Protection Capability Increment 2 program that will focus on the development of a multi-mission launcher, according to an acquisition decision memorandum. Frank Kendall, the under secretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, signed the ADM last week. It directs the Army to deliver an updated acquisition strategy for the program within 60 days "to reflect the focus of Block I is to develop a multi-mission launcher (MML) and an open architecture that will define an interface that will allow for a variety of missiles to be demonstrated and employed from this MML." The March 24 "for official use only" ADM also directs the Army to conduct an alternate interceptor trade study analysis within 180 days and present the results to him. The IFPC Inc. 2 system is designed to provide 360-degree protection against simultaneous threats from rockets, artillery, mortars and unmanned aircraft systems. IFPC Inc. 2 will integrate with counter-RAM systems and RAM warning systems that support deployed forces and counterinsurgency operations.

The Army began more than a year ago to explore the concept of a multi-mission launcher capable of firing interceptor missiles against a range of threats, but whether it would do so as part of the IFPC program was not certain. The new launcher would include incorporating current Army programs, according to Army spokeswoman Lt. Col. Peggy Kageleiry in November 2012 (ITA, Nov. 5, 2012). Kendall also signed, on the same day as the ADM, a waiver of a competitive prototyping requirement authorizing the Army to develop its own IFPC Inc. 2 Block I prototype. Kendall notes that the primary development component for the IFPC Inc. 2 is the MML. "Within the MML, four items require development: the azimuth drive, the elevation drive, the missile tube, and the missile rack. None of these items represent new technology," the waiver states. "The Army has several missile launchers that hold missile pods and have the ability to elevate and to slew (e.g., High Mobility Artillery Rocket System and Avenger)." The acquisition strategy "leverages mature, fielded components and sub-systems to meet the IFPC Inc. 2-I, Block 1 requirements," it adds. "These components include an existing fire control sensor (Sentinel Radar), existing interceptors, and existing Command and Control system capabilities (Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System)." The "majority" of the technology risk reduction associated with the effort "has already occurred for these components," the document states. Kendall approved the waiver to allow the Army to develop its own system based on a cost-benefit analysis that concluded "competitive prototyping would not provide additional system maturity or risk reduction to programmatic technical maturation efforts," the document reads.

A competitive prototyping effort would increase costs for the program by approximately $208.5 million and extend the TMRR phase by two years, Kendall wrote. If the Army develops the prototypes, the cost for research, technology, development and evaluation for the MML would amount to $219.6 million. "The costs of producing competitive prototypes would exceed the life-cycle benefits of producing such prototypes by $198.7 million," the waiver states. Kendall notes that the Army's Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center will develop the MML, producing the design, building prototypes and conducting a formal preliminary design review. "The design will be matured during the development of two prototypes and a Developmental Level Technical Data Package will be created by the AMRDEC," the document adds. As part of the technology maturation effort, the Army must verify the kill chain "end-to-end" resulting in an intercept "verified through telemetry data analysis," the ADM states. The prototypes developed through the program should demonstrate a technology readiness level of 6 within an IAMD system of systems open architecture, the document adds. The MML should also develop an "ability to store multiple interceptors, receive data and launch stored interceptors," the document states. The Army must launch two or more different interceptors from the MML, it adds. The effort should demonstrate "platoon operations using actual hardware and software and hardware emulators," according to the ADM.

An independent cost estimate, attached to the ADM, notes the total technology development phase of the IFPC Inc. 2 effort is expected to cost $429.6 million from fiscal year 2015 through FY-19 and $547.4 million total. The total procurement cost of the system is estimated to be $2.4 billion. The plan, according to the cost estimate, is to purchase 344 launchers and 850 missiles. Kendall estimates the average procurement unit acquisition at $4.4 million for the MML, with an average annual operating and support cost of $625,000 per unit. Initial operational capability is estimated for the fourth quarter of FY-19. -- Jen Judson
« Last Edit: April 01, 2014, 12:09:22 am by bobbymike »
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Offline bobbymike

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Re: Army Indirect Fire Protection System and New Guided Missile Program
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2014, 12:09:33 am »

Army Exploring Path Forward On New Guided Rocket System


Posted: Mar. 21, 2014

An Army colonel said the service hopes to release an analysis of alternatives by the end of the year that will determine whether it will move forward with a plan to develop a new guided rocket system.

Col. Gary Stephens said the Army is looking at the possibility of creating a new-start program known as Long-Range Precision Fire (LRPF), previously known as Guided Multiple Launcher Rocket System (GMLRS) Increment 4. Stephens, who is the project manager for precision fires rocket and missile systems under program executive office for missiles and space, said the LRPF could fill a well documented capability gap. To determine that, however, the Army must first finish the AOA.

"During that analysis of alternatives we're really going to evaluate what is the target set, what is the range for the target set . . . and out of that we'll have a recommendation and maybe the recommendation is a new-start," Stephens said March 19 at the National Defense Industrial Association's Precision Strike Conference in Springfield, VA. "There are many other alternatives, some of which that do nothing, many make modest improvements to the GMLRS family. I can't tell you what we're going to do."

Lt. Col. Francis Moss, who works in the force development office for the Army deputy chief of staff (G-8),

told Inside the Army in a March 21 email that the service's LRPF effort is separate from the current GMLRS program and that the LRPF capability gap was last validated by an Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) operational requirement document (ORD) in 1999.

"Due to the pending expiration of the existing ATACMS inventory, a materiel development decision (MDD) was made in November 2013 and the Army's LRPF effort is now undergoing an analysis of alternatives (AOA) to determine alternative ways to fill a capability gap which may exist if ATACMS is not replaced."

Moss said the AOA findings are scheduled to be reported in November with a final written report due by March 2015.

Stephens said the Army already has a tentative plan laid out for the LRPF should the AOA support the creation of a new program.

"I'll say a big if before I make the next comments -- if it's a new-start, then we will posture ourselves to go to a milestone A in FY-15, with the intent to award contracts in FY-16 . . . to enter the technology maturation and risk reduction phase," Stephens said. "Our intent is to pick two contractors, it'll be a full and open competition."

The GMLRS program is a Pentagon effort that began in 2003 to acquire more than 43,500 rockets through 2024. Lockheed Martin, the prime contractor for GMLRS, received a $255 million contract late last year for the ninth full-rate production lot of the M31 GMLRS unitary rocket.

The vast majority of the more than 20,000 GMLRS rockets Lockheed has built to date have been unitary variants, designed to carry 200-pound, high-explosive warheads beyond 70 kilometers and strike targets within five meters, according to company officials and Army documents. Insidedefense.com reported on Jan. 30, 2013 that the Army plans to acquire a total of 34,848 GMLRS unitary warheads. A third variant which the service has dubbed "Increment 3," the GMLRS Alternative Warhead, is in development.

Lockheed Martin told ITA in a March 20 statement that the company "is very interested in the Army's exploration" of an LRPF program.

"We will closely follow developments on the program as the Army continues to refine the operational concepts and requirements for the long-range precision fires program," according to the email. "Lockheed Martin has a long-established legacy of providing highly accurate and cost-effective precision fires products for the U.S. and allied militaries, and we eagerly anticipate the development of the next generation of long-range precision munitions." -- Ellen Mitchell
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Offline sferrin

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Re: Army Indirect Fire Protection System and New Guided Missile Program
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2014, 05:09:16 am »
"Due to the pending expiration of the existing ATACMS inventory, a materiel development decision (MDD) was made in November 2013 and the Army's LRPF effort is now undergoing an analysis of alternatives (AOA) to determine alternative ways to fill a capability gap which may exist if ATACMS is not replaced."

That's depressing as hell.  You just know they won't replace them, and in the small chance that they do we won't see it fielded for 20 years. 
"DARPA Hard"  It ain't what it use to be.

Offline bobbymike

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Re: Army Indirect Fire Protection System and New Guided Missile Program
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2014, 07:39:36 pm »
Inside the Army - 11/10/2014 

Multimission Launcher Tube Successfully Fires Three Interceptors

Posted: Nov. 07, 2014

The launch tube set to be used in the Army's new indirect fire protection program successfully fired interceptors for the first time in a recent test, the service announced last week. Officials fired three different interceptors from the tube during the late October event: an AIM-9X missile, an Accelerated Improved Interceptor Initiative (AI3) missile and a miniature hit-to-kill (MHTK) interceptor, according to Lt. Col. Christopher Whitmark, project director for the multimission launcher within the Army's Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center. The launcher is being developed for the Indirect Fire Protection Capability Increment 2 Block 1, meant to counter unmanned aerial vehicles, cruise missiles, rockets, artillery and mortars. "It validated our design for a new tube launch system," Whitmark said of the test in a Nov. 5 interview with Inside the Army. "All the test objectives were focused on the tube and the structural integrity of the tube."

The successful test will allow the Army to finalize the tube design and begin building two multimission launcher prototypes, Whitmark said. He expects both prototypes will be completed by the first quarter of fiscal year 2016. The Army revealed in an Oct. 16 notice that it plans on awarding up to two contracts for the IFPC Inc. 2-1 engineering and manufacturing development phase. That stage is expected to begin in the third quarter of FY-16, according to budget documents. Since the program will use the Sentinel radar and the Integrated Air and Missile Defense command and control architecture, the phase will focus on developing the multimission launcher. The service said in the notice that it will select one of the contractors to continue the work following a limited user test in FY-18 (ITA, Nov. 3). Whitmark said two upcoming tests of the multimission launcher will be conducted under the auspices of the IFPC program office. An Oct. 30 notice on the Federal Business Opportunities website announced the Army was seeking companies interested in providing interceptors for the two tests. The first trial, a launch demonstration next March, will involve "ballistic test vehicle firing," while an engineering demonstration in March 2016 will be a "fully integrated firing against a live target," according to the notice. -- Justin Doubleday
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.

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Offline Abraham Gubler

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Re: Army Indirect Fire Protection System and New Guided Missile Program
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2014, 12:27:16 am »
That's depressing as hell.  You just know they won't replace them, and in the small chance that they do we won't see it fielded for 20 years.


ATCAMS doesn't need a successor system if the rockets life expires. A new production batch or a refit is adequate.
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Offline marauder2048

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Re: Army Indirect Fire Protection System and New Guided Missile Program
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2015, 11:08:59 pm »
Looks like MHTK is moving ahead...

Lockheed Martin Corp., Missile and Fire Control, Grand Prairie, Texas, was awarded a $46,509,372 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for the Extended Area Protection and Survivability (EAPS) Integrated Demonstration (ID) Program to demonstrate the technology required to counter rocket, artillery and mortar threats and other selective targets. This will transition to the Indirect Fire Protection Capability Increment 2-Intercept (IFPC2-I) Program. Funding and work location will be determined with each order with an estimated completion date of Sept. 26, 2019. Bids were solicited via the Internet with one received. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the contracting activity (W31P4Q-15-D-0040).
« Last Edit: January 29, 2015, 11:10:42 pm by marauder2048 »

Offline bobbymike

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Re: Army Indirect Fire Protection System and New Guided Missile Program
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2015, 09:34:59 am »
That's depressing as hell.  You just know they won't replace them, and in the small chance that they do we won't see it fielded for 20 years.


ATCAMS doesn't need a successor system if the rockets life expires. A new production batch or a refit is adequate.

New Missile Program Could Give Raytheon, Boeing Chance To Challenge Lockheed

Posted: February 20, 2015


The Army next month plans to finalize a recommendation for a potential new long-range, guided missile program that -- if approved by Defense Department leaders -- could give Raytheon and Boeing the chance to challenge Lockheed Martin's historic incumbency as provider of the service's premier ground-launched, deep-strike weapon.

According to the Army's fiscal year 2016 budget request, the service is weeks away from completing a Long Range Precision Fires analysis of alternatives commissioned by the Pentagon's acquisition executive in November 2013 to recommend a follow-on to the Lockheed Martin-made Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) program. The Army terminated ATACMS production in 2007.

“The AOA is scheduled for completion in March 2015,” the budget request states. “The LRPF is being developed as a cluster and insensitive munition-compliant system that replaces and improves upon ATACMS capabilities to provide Joint Force Commanders with a 24/7, all-weather, area target, long-range fires capability without placing aircraft and crews at risk.”

In total, the Army is seeking $124 million to get the LRPF effort started between FY-16 and FY-18; that's a 57 percent reduction compared to the $293 million for LRPF the service set aside in the five-year plan it forecast along with its FY-15 spending request.

In separate interviews over recent months, Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Raytheon representatives all said they were closely monitoring the Army's LRPF analysis. None wanted to be quoted on the record until the Army published a request for proposals.

The service currently plans to seek permission from the high-level Defense Acquisition Board during the first quarter of FY-16 to enter the Technology Maturation and Risk Reduction phase of a new LRPF program. One of the first planned actions is to utilize a special contract vehicle designed to give the government access to cutting edge technology that companies are often reluctant to provide under standard procurement regulations, according to the budget request.

“Funding is requested in FY-16 to conduct competitive sub-system risk reduction activities under DOD Section 845 Other Transaction Authority, to mature the rocket motor and warhead technology to support the award of Technology Maturation/Risk Reduction (TM/RR) system demonstration contracts in FY-17,” the request states. “LRPF will be developed using competitive prototyping, carrying two or more contractors through the TM/RR Phase.”

The current schedule calls for a single supplier to get an engineering and manufacturing development contract award in FY-19; initial production is scheduled for FY-22, according to the budget request.

In November 2013, Pentagon acquisition executive Frank Kendall approved the Army's request for an LRPF material development decision and set an initial affordability goal of average procurement unit cost of $720,000 per missile, assuming annual purchases of at least 200.

“The LRPF AOA will provide the analytic underpinnings to inform how the Army could affordably address future capability in the area of long-range precision fires,” Kendall wrote in a Nov. 6, 2013 memo. “The analysis will examine the available trade space between joint fires in lieu of ATACMS, a service life extension program of the current ATACMS, restarting the ATACMS production line, developing a new missile, and potential allied systems, or a combination of all of these alternatives to meet the Army's mission needs,” the DOD acquisition chief wrote.

The LRPF requirement sets a threshold for minimum distance of 70 kilometers and objective requirement of 60 kilometers; the maximum range threshold is 300 kilometers with 499 kilometers the objective, according to a June 25, 2014 Army summary of the key parameters.

The guided missile is to be compatible with both the M270A1 Multiple Launch Rocket System and HIMARS launch platform and demonstrate flight speeds “comparable with or superior to ATACMS,” the Army document adds.

The new missile is also to be compliant with the Defense Department's 2008 cluster munition policy, which means the new weapon will likely carry the unitary warhead on currently fielded ATACMS. -- Jason Sherman
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Offline bobbymike

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Re: Army Indirect Fire Protection System and New Guided Missile Program
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2015, 02:26:51 pm »
Army General Stresses 'Kinetic Aspect' In Service's Pacific Posture

Posted: March 06, 2015


The head of U.S. Army forces in the Pacific says the service should improve combat capabilities tailored to the region, providing senior-level cover for a nascent program to develop a new missile class. "One can certainly imagine that precision surface-to-surface engagement is a matter of expertise for the Army," Gen. Vincent Brooks said at a Feb. 5 speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. "Can we do that in the geography that we're talking about, or does it require adaption of existing technologies or the emergence of new technologies? These are the kinds of conversations we have to have," he continued. Brooks said the problem of insufficient range of some Army weaponry in the vast environs of the region, combined with the difficulty of hitting targets on the water from land, must be addressed. "We maintain dialogue with industry about things like that, and we also examine concepts on how we would think about using such capabilities," he said in response to a reporter's question. The general emphasized that combat capabilities specific to the Asia-Pacific region are also generated by Army-provided logistics services, most notably a fleet of cargo ships parked in Japan and elsewhere. Ground-based missile defense programs and the pairing of attack helicopters with unmanned aerial vehicles, too, should be counted in the mix of weapons valuable in a regional war, he argued.

"So there is a kinetic aspect to this that we must maintain in readiness all the time and to make sharper with every day that passes," Brooks said. The comments on kinetic weaponry stood out in a speech almost entirely devoted to building partnerships with the armies of regional allies and China. "Our primary objective is to never have to engage in a fight. I think that's very important to understand," he said. "Having said that, as our recently released Army Operating Concept highlights, the focus of the concept is to win in a complex world." Brooks was referring to a document unveiled last October. The concept describes in broad strokes the kinds of conflicts for which the service should prepare.

Meanwhile, Army officials are awaiting the results of an internal analysis about the service's ability to conduct surface-to-surface strikes of targets up to 499 kilometers away, the maximum range allowed under the 1987 U.S.-Russian Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty. The service appears eager to start a new program, with officials already thinking about a potential management structure and necessary technology for a future missile.

If given the greenlight for a new development, the Army will first need to devise a new rocket booster to achieve the desired range, according to Col. Gary Stephens, program manager for precision fires. Other components, like a guidance package, warhead payload and control augmentation system, are already available, Stephens said (Inside the Army, March 2). -- Sebastian Sprenger
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Us should renegotiate the INF Treaty for conventional missile/munitions only. Silly to let China build thousands of IRBM ranged systems while limiting ourselves to 499km
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Offline sferrin

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Re: Army Indirect Fire Protection System and New Guided Missile Program
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2015, 03:00:39 pm »
ATACMs does seem a bit limited.  Now if you put two ATACM motors in tandem, dropped the first stage at burnout, and made the rest more heat tolerant that could be interesting. 
"DARPA Hard"  It ain't what it use to be.

Offline bobbymike

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Re: Army Indirect Fire Protection System and New Guided Missile Program
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2015, 08:04:59 pm »
ATACMs does seem a bit limited.  Now if you put two ATACM motors in tandem, dropped the first stage at burnout, and made the rest more heat tolerant that could be interesting. 

Two stage would make a great intermediate ranged prompt strike system. I would go even bigger with a C4/AHW sized land based system. Long ranged with a decent sized payload. The Mk4 improved RV is supposed to give 10m CEP.
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Offline Grey Havoc

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Re: Army Indirect Fire Protection System and New Guided Missile Program
« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2015, 05:01:08 am »
ATACMs does seem a bit limited.  Now if you put two ATACM motors in tandem, dropped the first stage at burnout, and made the rest more heat tolerant that could be interesting. 

Two stage would make a great intermediate ranged prompt strike system. I would go even bigger with a C4/AHW sized land based system. Long ranged with a decent sized payload. The Mk4 improved RV is supposed to give 10m CEP.

Maybe you could even 'borrow' an old concept, air-augmentation, to improve performance even further.
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Offline sferrin

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Re: Army Indirect Fire Protection System and New Guided Missile Program
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2015, 05:13:10 am »
ATACMs does seem a bit limited.  Now if you put two ATACM motors in tandem, dropped the first stage at burnout, and made the rest more heat tolerant that could be interesting. 

Two stage would make a great intermediate ranged prompt strike system. I would go even bigger with a C4/AHW sized land based system. Long ranged with a decent sized payload. The Mk4 improved RV is supposed to give 10m CEP.

You'd need a hell of a TEL for that.  :o

"DARPA Hard"  It ain't what it use to be.

Offline bobbymike

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Re: Army Indirect Fire Protection System and New Guided Missile Program
« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2015, 05:25:17 am »
ATACMs does seem a bit limited.  Now if you put two ATACM motors in tandem, dropped the first stage at burnout, and made the rest more heat tolerant that could be interesting. 

Two stage would make a great intermediate ranged prompt strike system. I would go even bigger with a C4/AHW sized land based system. Long ranged with a decent sized payload. The Mk4 improved RV is supposed to give 10m CEP.

You'd need a hell of a TEL for that.  :o



Ya 36.5 tons for the C4 maybe a cut down Midgetman [sized] missile cause you don't need the range? 15 tons original design shorter first and second stages down to 10 tons or less?

I'm just thinking of something to outrange China's IRBM's that target our carriers (3k km) I wonder how many Virginia Payload Modules you could fit on a retired helicopter carrier  :o Then you could convert excess D5's to the CTM mission.

I know none of this would ever happen but I enjoy speculating  :D
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Offline marauder2048

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Re: Army Indirect Fire Protection System and New Guided Missile Program
« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2015, 07:27:45 pm »
Army completes second test firing of Multi-Mission Launcher program

Quote
WHITE SANDS MISSILE RANGE, N.M. (Mar. 23, 2015) -- The Army successfully completed a launch demonstration of three missile launches from the Multi-Mission Launcher Launch Demonstration Unit.

The Army's Indirect Fire Protection Capability Increment 2-Intercept Product Office conducted the launches with support from the Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center.

The three missile launches included an Air Intercept Missile 9-X that intercepted an unmanned aerial vehicle after launch. A Low Cost Active Seeker and a Mini Hit-to-Kill interceptor were also successfully launched and flew ballistic trajectories.

The successful firing of the missiles served to verify the tube integrity and missile stack integration of the MML. The IFPC Inc 2-I program remains on schedule to conduct an engineering demonstration in March 2016.

The AMRDEC MML Program is designing, fabricating and will deliver two MML prototypes for integration into the IFPC Inc 2-I system during the technology maturation and risk reduction phase of development. The MML is a next generation air defense launcher that is built on open system architecture and will have the capability to launch a variety of interceptors for comprehensive air defense against a variety of unmanned and cruise missile threats.

The Army plans to field the system in 2019.

"This, yet again, demonstrates a positive step forward for the MML," said James Lackey, AMRDEC Director. "MML will be critical in providing expanded ground troop area protection capabilities by enabling kinetic kill lethality effects against a variety of advanced, airborne incoming threats.

"I am very proud of the AMRDEC Team for keeping the focus and solidly executing requirements to both affordable cost and efficient schedule," Lackey added.

The unique government-to-government relationship between the IFPC Inc 2-I Program and the MML Program is on schedule and on budget to deliver two prototypes for use in the engineering demonstration.

http://www.army.mil/article/145021/

Some photos of the AIM-9X launching from one of the canisters

Offline marauder2048

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Re: Army Indirect Fire Protection System and New Guided Missile Program
« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2015, 09:09:28 am »
Quote

Lockheed eyes opportunities for MHTK

Robin Hughes, London - IHS Jane's Missiles & Rockets
20 July 2015
   
Lockheed Martin's MHTK interceptor. Source: Lockheed Martin
Key Points
Three guidance options are available for the MHTK interceptor, plus an option for miniature warhead integration
Future options for the EAPS competitor include equipping helicopters, UAS and potentially offering a shoulder-launched capability
Lockheed Martin is expecting to complete development of its miniature hit-to-kill (MHTK) kinetic interceptor for the US Army's Extended Area Protection and Survivability Integration Demonstration (EAPS ID) programme by August/September 2016, with a view to exploiting the MHTK technology for other opportunities.

Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman were awarded multi-phase contracts in February 2008, aiming to design and demonstrate a prototype missile interceptor weapon system for the EAPS ID programme.

The latter is a Science & Technology programme designed to advance the development of critical intercept technologies to meet a future US Army requirement for enhanced counter rocket, artillery, and mortar (C-RAM) and counter-unmanned aerial vehicles (C-UAV) roles.

EAPS ID is expected to inform the Army Cruise Missile Defense Systems (CMDS) programme office's decision on what technologies to progress as it draws up plans for its future Indirect Fire Protection Capability, Increment 2 - Intercept (IFPC Inc 2-I) Block 2 requirement.

The IFPC Inc 2-I is envisaged as a tactical ground-based weapon system designed to acquire, track, engage, and defeat UAVs, cruise missiles (CM), and RAM threats. The CMDS office intends to apply a block acquisition approach to provide the IFPC Inc 2-I capability. Block 1 will deliver point protection for C-UAV and CM Defence (CMD), elements of this Block include: developing the Multi-Mission Launcher (MML); and leveraging existing interceptors (AIM-9 type), sensors (Sentinel), and existing network (Integrated Battle Command System: IBCS). Block 2 adds a C-RAM capability, including leveraging the MML and the IBCS, as well as developing a new sensor or extending the capabilities of an existing sensor to support C-RAM engagements and developing a C-RAM interceptor.

Block 3 extends the Block 1 CUAS/CMD capability from point defence to area defence.

Chris Murphy, Lockheed Martin Missiles & Fire Control business development lead for MHTK told IHS Jane's that in the near term the company will complete some rescheduled lethality and flight tests by September 2016, and transition MHTK off the EAPS programme to position it for the IFPC Inc 2-I Block 2 requirement.

Lockheed Martin conducted Controlled Test Vehicle flight tests in May 2012, followed by an initial guided flight test in March 2013, and a guided intercept test in January 2014 to characterise the performance of the RF seeker. Follow-on tests scheduled for August 2014 were postponed due to "challenges with the seeker", but the company asserts that these have since been resolved.

The MHTK is understood to be approximately 70 cm (29 inches) in length and 4 cm in diameter, with a launch weight of about 2.5 kg. Lockheed said that "MHTK's effective range [for a single-shot kill] against RAM will be 3 km or more."

While there are no energetics in the missile - as the name suggests it is a body-to-body contact kill system - Lockheed Martin has integrated a 'lethality mechanism' or penetrator package in the MHTK to help penetrate the skin of the target. Murphy noted that "the precision and accuracy that go with hit to kill allow us, if required, to remove the penetrator package and integrate a small warhead, to achieve the effect desired without extensive collateral damage, and this is something that could be explored."

Lockheed Martin has integrated unique amorphous alloy canards, sourced from Liquidmetal Technologies, for the MHTK. To achieve the miniaturised electronics package for the interceptor, Lockheed Martin has sourced a range of technologies for components and packaging from outside of its customary supply chain.

"We've borrowed from the medical imaging industry, from the cell phone industry, and from 'large data farming' industries; we've also leveraged some unique packaging industries to fit the electronics, the batteries, to fit the controllers, the motor and to fit the elements of the seeker into the missile."

Murphy said that Lockheed Martin will offer three guidance options for MHTK: it initially integrated a semi-active RF seeker, which was the main focus of the EAPS programme; the US Army's Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center (AMRDEC) funded a feasibility investigation of an active seeker in the same form factor.

Lockheed Martin is continuing this work on internal investment and has had some success, although it is not as mature as the semi-active RF seeker development.

The company is also evaluating integration of a semi-active laser (SAL) for use with a third-party designator source. "We designed and built the missile so that we could interchange guidance options; if we wanted to integrate a miniaturised video camera in the front end, and it made sense to do so, we are also able to that."

The interceptor itself is powered by a compact new rocket motor developed by Nammo in the United States. Nammo said the MHTK's narrow 40 mm diameter interceptor body precluded the requirement for any active cooling or heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning devices; its solution focuses on mechanical design innovations combined with the development of a new propellant, and materials able to withstand sustained heat. Nammo declined to disclose the exact compositions used, but said that the kinematic requirements needed a very fast burning propellant that is required "to burn for seconds".

To meet the proposed IFPC Inc 2-I Block 2 architecture, Lockheed Martin will package multiple MHTKs in an all-up round (comprising the missiles and the canister they are launched from). The all-up round fits a single launch tube of the MML and can be shipped in the same canister assembly, thus delivering the missile loadout required by the army, but also minimising the missile's logistics footprint.

For other C-RAM user requirements, multiple MHTK all-up rounds canisters can be 'ganged' into any launch tube, with the only limitations being the: size of the launch tube, the availability of an adequate power supply.

Murphy confirmed that Lockheed Martin is already in discussions with two international customers with regard to acquiring the interceptor for a C-RAM/C-UAV requirement.

http://www.janes.com/article/53095/lockheed-eyes-opportunities-for-mhtk