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AIM-260

Jeb

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Dragon029

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So it's called the AIM-260 JATM (Joint Advanced Tactical Missile); it'll first be getting integrated onto the F-22's main weapons bay (a good indicator of length), then being integrated onto the Super Hornet and then the F-35; hopefully those will happen in pretty rapid succession. It's also outright replacing the AIM-120 with AMRAAM production to be finished in 2026 as JATM production ramps up to take over (AMRAAM stockpiles are going to last quite a while though).

Now we just need some of the juicier details - is it air breathing? Single or dual stage? What kind of seeker tech will it use?

One thing we can probably deduce safely is how it manoeuvres; Lockheed appears to be the contractor for this project, and they've been looking to use solid rocket divert thrusters in both SACM / CUDA and M-SHORAD; I don't see why they wouldn't do the same for this. The Gen also mentions that aside from longer legs, the missile will have "different capabilities onboard to go after that specific [next generation air-dominance] threat set"; I wonder if that means we'll get a dual-mode radar+IR seeker; as I'd imagine that radar-VLO targets would be part of that "next-generation air-dominance threat set".
 
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Moose

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Wish the headline were "LREW designated as AIM-260" or something like that rather than implying this program just appeared today. But, still, good to see it's gotten far enough to earn a designation. Agree with sferrin, though, "260" is well outside the convention and I see no reason why it should have been chosen.
 

sferrin

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JASSM ER is what it's supposed to be in the small text and somehow transformed to an air-to-air missile on the right. JATM's range doesn't seem to be much more than AMRAAM's in the chart above.

"Air Force Weapons Program Executive Officer Brig. Gen. Anthony Genatempo told reporters in a June 20 interview here the service is working with Lockheed Martin, the Army, and the Navy to field the Joint Advanced Tactical Missile in 2022. Work began about two years ago.

“It has a range greater than AMRAAM, different capabilities onboard to go after that specific [next generation air-dominance] threat set, but certainly longer legs,” he said. “As I bring up JATM production, AMRAAM production is kind of going to start tailing off.”"

 
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sferrin

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Anybody know what, "Future Booster Development" is?
 

zen

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260......could thus be a reference to 260 degrees? Which means everything but the 100 degree arc to the rear.....
 

sferrin

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Or it could be range in km or range in miles or weight in kg or diameter in mm or cost in flugelthorps. . ..
 

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I don't think the number means anything. Has it ever for AIMs? AIM-7, AIM-9, AIM-120, AIM-132, AIM-154.... I don't see anything correlation.
 

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Colonial-Marine

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I'm surprised it isn't VFDR. If not VFDR a dual-pulse rocket motor is a must for any significant improvement in range and no-escape zone.

How'd Raytheon managed to get kicked to the curb here in favor of LM?
 
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sferrin

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I don't think the number means anything. Has it ever for AIMs? AIM-7, AIM-9, AIM-120, AIM-132, AIM-154.... I don't see anything correlation.
See here:


They don't just get their numbers from a Ouija board. (Though who knows today. . .)
I see, so the numbers sort of count up across a number of weapon types. I think I missed everything between about 180 and 260 though.

They don't, "sort of count up", they're part of the official designation system. It's a coin flip whether they follow it anymore. The F-35 should have been F-24 (though it could be argued the Super Hornet should have been "F-24" with the F-35 being "F-25"). The "B-21" should be B-3. Interestingly enough the AGM-183A seems to follow it. The AIM-260 does not.
 
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sferrin

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I'm surprised it isn't VFDR. If not VFDR a dual-pulse rocket motor is a must for any significant improvement in range and no-escape zone.

How'd Raytheon managed to get kicked to the curb here in favor of LM?
They probably had an inferior design would be my guess.
 

Colonial-Marine

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They probably had an inferior design would be my guess.
Lockheed-Martin knows what they're doing for sure but I'm just a bit surprised after Raytheon's work on T3 and other projects over the past decade.
 

bring_it_on

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They probably had an inferior design would be my guess.
We hope that that was the reason.
It almost would have to be in order to dethrone an incumbent who has managed to produce more than 20K AMRAAMs over the years though recent upgrades probably haven’t gone as smooth as the AF and Navy would like so it could be that they thought of injecting some competition into the AIM space.

Interesting that LM beat out both the T3 awardees knowing that Boeing even publicly acknowledged its T3 tests. Now that the program is out in the open I wonder when we we will get more information.
 

sferrin

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My money is on a 2-stage CUDA. (2-stage for long range, missile without booster for shorter range shots.)
 

SpudmanWP

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I'm surprised it isn't VFDR. If not VFDR a dual-pulse rocket motor is a must for any significant improvement in range and no-escape zone.

How'd Raytheon managed to get kicked to the curb here in favor of LM?
The KISS Principle
 

sferrin

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I'm surprised it isn't VFDR. If not VFDR a dual-pulse rocket motor is a must for any significant improvement in range and no-escape zone.

How'd Raytheon managed to get kicked to the curb here in favor of LM?
The KISS Principle
Wouldn't that argue against a 2-stage solution? Maybe they grafted an AIM-120 front end to a larger diameter motor? (Could they fit 3 10" dia. missiles in each F-22 bay?)
 

Moose

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A FatRAAM seems unlikely, the small amount of information given seems to point in a direction other than re-using AIM-120 components. The LM win and Raytheon loss is hard to judge with so little information. T3's been plugging along for a good long while, it could be there were just issues that USAF felt couldn't be resolved in a timely and afforable manner. It's also possible they did a sort of internal competition between the T3 and LREW concepts, and LREW came out ahead.
 

bring_it_on

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A FatRAAM seems unlikely, the small amount of information given seems to point in a direction other than re-using AIM-120 components. The LM win and Raytheon loss is hard to judge with so little information. T3's been plugging along for a good long while, it could be there were just issues that USAF felt couldn't be resolved in a timely and afforable manner. It's also possible they did a sort of internal competition between the T3 and LREW concepts, and LREW came out ahead.
Wasn’t LREW funding mostly for Raytheon though ?
 

SpudmanWP

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Just a thought.... LM bought GD (did they get the missile division along with the F-16?) so maybe they started with the old AAAM studies & tech.
 

sferrin

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Just a thought.... LM bought GD (did they get the missile division along with the F-16?) so maybe they started with the old AAAM studies & tech.
Raytheon seems to have picked up the missiles.
 

Moose

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A FatRAAM seems unlikely, the small amount of information given seems to point in a direction other than re-using AIM-120 components. The LM win and Raytheon loss is hard to judge with so little information. T3's been plugging along for a good long while, it could be there were just issues that USAF felt couldn't be resolved in a timely and afforable manner. It's also possible they did a sort of internal competition between the T3 and LREW concepts, and LREW came out ahead.
Wasn’t LREW funding mostly for Raytheon though ?
Was it? Happy to be corrected if so, I haven't seen a breakdown of where LREW funding went, just the line items Flateric found showing it's existence. Those were talking broadly about assessment and architecture investigation at OSD level, implying they had a concept in-hand (in 2017) they were trying to flesh out/refine before giving the green light to start building hardware. They also mention handing off to services after 2017, which could mean that they handed off to USAF and the Air Force handed it to LM in the subsequent years.
 

SpudmanWP

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Just a thought.... LM bought GD (did they get the missile division along with the F-16?) so maybe they started with the old AAAM studies & tech.
Raytheon seems to have picked up the missiles.
Found it.

Hughes bought GD's missile division in 1992

Ratheon buys Hughes in 1997
 

TAOG

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Some people say the LREW program has merged into ERWn program which is a rapid prototyping program aimed to develop a long range air-launched advanced multi-role interceptor (mainly used as a boost phase interceptor to counter BM).
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TAOG

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Also, Steve Trimble say AIM-260 doesn't belong to LREW or CAST program.
 

TAOG

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But the ERWn program has some trouble and is temporarily stuck now (but the program is not dead).


May 30, 2019


"Defense Department plans for a new kinetic boost-phase interceptor, an air-launched weapon envisioned for fighter aircraft to attack enemy ballistic missiles, stalled this month after the Air Force and an unnamed contractor failed to agree on contract terms to develop the new capability. .... Asked if it was now fair to characterize the ERWn program as a project that is now over, Stefanek said: "A more accurate characterization is: The ERWn program was a rapid prototyping project that was funded and had an approved acquisition strategy, but we were unable to agree to contract terms." "

 
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TomS

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Not sure I follow the remark about JASSM-ER since it's consistent with other charts.

View attachment 615573
On the right hand of the slide, it says "Joint Air to Air Standoff Missile." On the left, it's back to the more usual (and correct) "Joint Air to Surface Standoff Missile."
 
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