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AMRAAM-ER

bring_it_on

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IDEX 2015: Extended range air defence fires up



Raytheon is developing a new extended range (ER) variant of the AMRAAM (AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile) for ground air defence in partnership with Kongsberg.

The AMRAAM-ER is part of the latest evolution of the company’s NASAMS launcher, Hans Christian Hagen, vice president of business development of Kongsberg’s Integrated Defence System, told Shephard at IDEX in Abu Dhabi.

Development work on the missile started in 2014 and the AMRAAM-ER uses the guidance system of the standard AMRAAM but married to the ESSM launcher to give it the additional range and altitude.

The additional range and altitude could not be disclosed but it is thought to be similar in capability to Raytheon’s MIM-23 Hawk air defence system of 40-50km and up to 45,000ft.

Ricky Freibert, vice president of business development at Raytheon, told Shephard that a demonstration will take place by the end of the year with production expected by 2019. He added that the algorithms in the guidance section are common with the AMRAAM so when that system evolves so will the ER variant.

NASAMS is available as a canister launcher system or as mobile one mounted on a 4x4 High Mobility Launcher (HML). Hagen said that there are only small modifications needed to the rail on the launcher because the ER variant is longer and to the control system software. The rail is the same as that on the F-16.

However, the AMRAAM-ER is heavier than the AMRAAM already fired from the NASAMS. The additional weight means that the HML vehicle used in the mobile system would need adapting to carry the weight, but it would be able to carry two ER missiles in its current form. The HML can carry six standard AMRAAM missiles.

Hagen said the canister launch NASAMS can hold six missiles each. There are 12 canister launchers in a battalion so it would offer a total of 72 rounds that can be directed at 72 different targets simultaneously if required as it is a fire-and-forget missile.

He added that the fire direction controllers for the NASAMS launchers are connected together by VHF radio in a network that is almost self-healing, if one node drops out then the launcher can connect to another controller allowing the GBAD system to be spread out over a wide area even in mountainous terrain.

The AMRAAM-ER is available to all NASAMS users. Oman selected the NASAMS system in January 2014.
 

SpudmanWP

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The nose shape has changed a bit since Raytheon first displayed their AMRAAM-ER concept.


At least we know now that it's the AMRAAM Seeker AND Warhead and not just the Seeker.


New Style





Old Style


 

JohnR

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I assume the SL prefix means surface launched?
 

TomS

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Yes, SL = Surface Launch.


Have to say that the old version was more elegant, with a nice taper from the ESSM motor section and the AMRAAM nose cone. The long taper probably meant repackaging components, though. The newer version just seems to be just a whole AMRAAM fore-end mated to the ESSM motor. simpler, but less pretty.
 

marauder2048

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So is this the "Poor Man's" ESSM Blk II? If everything goes to plan, (SL) AMRAAM-ER and ESSM Blk II will hit IOC within a year of each other.
 

sferrin

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TomS said:
Yes, SL = Surface Launch.


Have to say that the old version was more elegant, with a nice taper from the ESSM motor section and the AMRAAM nose cone. The long taper probably meant repackaging components, though. The newer version just seems to be just a whole AMRAAM fore-end mated to the ESSM motor. simpler, but less pretty.
When I see the "elegant" version, I see a split at the base of the taper, with the conical section forward being a KKV that gets lofted in a long-range trajectory.
 

SpudmanWP

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I think that the AMRAAM-ER could go IOC a LOT sooner than ESSM Blk2.


After all it's just the motor of ESSM and the rest from AMRAAM.
 

TomS

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sferrin said:
When I see the "elegant" version, I see a split at the base of the taper, with the conical section forward being a KKV that gets lofted in a long-range trajectory.
I can see why it might look like that -- it does kind of resembles a mini-THAAD, doesn't it. I don't think that's likely, though. SLAMRAAM-ER has been described back as far as 2007 and no one describes it as a two-stage missile.

BTW: Here's a 2007 thread on this topic http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=2042.0 Merge?
 

sferrin

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TomS said:
sferrin said:
When I see the "elegant" version, I see a split at the base of the taper, with the conical section forward being a KKV that gets lofted in a long-range trajectory.
I can see why it might look like that -- it does kind of resembles a mini-THAAD, doesn't it. I don't think that's likely, though. SLAMRAAM-ER has been described back as far as 2007 and no one describes it as a two-stage missile.

BTW: Here's a 2007 thread on this topic http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=2042.0 Merge?
*sigh* Yes, yes, I know that. I'm saying it would be an interesting "what if".
 

TomS

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Sorry, misunderstood.
 

marauder2048

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sferrin said:
TomS said:
Yes, SL = Surface Launch.


Have to say that the old version was more elegant, with a nice taper from the ESSM motor section and the AMRAAM nose cone. The long taper probably meant repackaging components, though. The newer version just seems to be just a whole AMRAAM fore-end mated to the ESSM motor. simpler, but less pretty.
When I see the "elegant" version, I see a split at the base of the taper, with the conical section forward being a KKV that gets lofted in a long-range trajectory.
As in a surface launched NCADE?
 

marauder2048

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SpudmanWP said:
I think that the AMRAAM-ER could go IOC a LOT sooner than ESSM Blk2.


After all it's just the motor of ESSM and the rest from AMRAAM.
Sure. I was just going by the date indicated in the article. IOC for ESSM Blk 2 is scheduled for 2020.

For all we know, AMRAAM-ER is risk reduction for ESSM Blk 2; my understanding is that Raytheon will be retrofitting the new 10 inch guidance section to the existing ESSM propulsion stack on currently fielded missiles.
 

bring_it_on

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So are there any potential applications for it be mounted on legacy fighters?
 

Moose

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bring_it_on said:
So are there any potential applications for it be mounted on legacy fighters?
Weight will be an issue.
 

sferrin

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Moose said:
bring_it_on said:
So are there any potential applications for it be mounted on legacy fighters?
Weight will be an issue.
I'd think the weight problem would be minimal for the F-15C/E on the four "corners".
 

bring_it_on

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Could be an interesting cooperative engagement weapon with the legacy Eagles/Strike Eagles carrying it behind the stealth fleet. Depends upon what sort of ranges we are talking about I guess when launched from altitude.
 

TomS

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SLAMRAAM-ER should weigh in at less than 100 pounds more than Sparrow, I figure.(plain ESSM is about 110 lbs more, but the AMRAAM fore-end would be lighter). Most aircraft could handle that. The ejectors would likely need some mods but nothing insurmountable as long as the overall length stays at 12 feet.
 

bobbymike

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http://raytheon.mediaroom.com/2015-06-10-Raytheon-completes-lab-testing-on-AMRAAM-ER-NASAMS-integration
 

FighterJock

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Will the AMRAAM-ER fit inside the internal weapons bay's of the F-35A/B/C? Or will the missile be only for the F-22A.
 

SpudmanWP

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If it fit's in the F-22 then it will fit in the F-35 as it's a much bigger bay.
 

TomS

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Right now, AMRAAM-ER is only for surface launchers. The conversation here about aircraft applications is purely hypothetical.
 

FighterJock

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TomS said:
Right now, AMRAAM-ER is only for surface launchers. The conversation here about aircraft applications is purely hypothetical.
Shame about that, hopefully a air-air variant could be developed at some point in the not too distant future.
 

TomS

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I think that if we do see a further range-improved version of AMRAAM for aircraft it will be something more like Meteor and ideally fit within the AMRAAM envelope. A larger weapon like AMRAAM-ER would reduce the number of stowed kills in the F-22 and lower the chances of additional missiles in the F-35 side bays.
 

SpudmanWP

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Because of the folding fins of the AMRAAM-ER (based on ESSM) it "may" fit three per bay (in the F-22) just like the AIM-120.


 

TomS

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I think you're right. I didn't expect that ESSM would fold so tight.

Someone ran the numbers over on F-16.net.

http://www.f-16.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=33&t=24750&start=15
 

bring_it_on

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Raytheon readies for AMRAAM-ER tests



Raytheon has confirmed to IHS Jane's that it has completed construction of its first new long-range AMRAAM-ER surface-to-air missile, and has a second in build, as the project moves towards test firings planned for the first half of 2016.

No date has yet been set for the launches, but the company expects to have a firm date for an available range by the end of January.

AMRAAM-ER is a relatively simple concept that blends the front end of an AIM-120C-7 missile with the rocket motor from a RIM-162 Evolved SeaSparrow Missile (ESSM), the whole being encapsulated for use with the Raytheon and Kongsberg-developed NASAMS air defence system.

The basic hardware of each element is virtually unchanged, with a new transition section fitted between the two to blend them together and provide direct communication between them, but Raytheon believes that the work should result in a 50% increase in range and 70% increase in altitude ceiling over the existing surface-launched version of AIM-120C.

Raytheon has confirmed that despite re-using proven major components, AMRAAM-ER will only be constructed as newbuild items, so customers with large legacy stocks of AIM-120C-7 missiles - which can be used interchangeably in air-to-air and surface-to-air roles - will not be able to rework them to the new configuration and add in new rocket motors.

According to Michael Sadlowski, Raytheon's business development lead for AMRAAM-ER, new software has been developed to integrate the missiles into NASAMS. He added that this was tested during 18 simulated engagements using a full NASAMS ensemble - Fire Distribution Centre, AN/MPQ-64 Sentinel radar and launcher with live missile - conducted at Raytheon's Pelham facility in New Hampshire, in August 2015.

The new missile is significantly longer than the standard AMRAAM, requiring a 12-inch extension to the front of the launch canister and a revised location within it for the umbilical data connector to interface with the repositioned missile. Sadlowski said that the new AMRAAM-ER canisters would still meet the open architecture baselines of the existing NASAMS infrastructure, however, and could be loaded in mixed configurations with other missiles.

Both of the new AMRAAM-ER test missiles will be fired against live target drones - the exact type of which is yet to be decided and will, in part, be settled by the availability of a test range - but the first will be a telemetered missile and will execute a 'drone save' manoeuvre to reuse the platform. The second will feature a traditional WDU-41/B blast-fragmentation warhead and will aim to destroy the target.

Full ESSM all-up rounds were fired from NASAMS in 2012, but although ESSM offers long ranges, it lacked the active seeker of the AMRAAM, which Sadlowski said "most customers are now asking for".

Analysis

The exact performance figures of the surface-launched version introduction of the AIM-120C are considered sensitive, but the air-launched variant is understood to have a maximum range in the order of 105 km in optimum conditions.

When carried by fighter aircraft, that missile obviously benefits from the velocity and altitude of its launch platform, but the introduction of the highly energetic ESSM booster into AMRAAM-ER should more than make up for the penalties imposed by static surface launch from NASAMS.

In performance terms, this new range and ceiling should outmatch that of MIM-23 HAWK interceptors, the majority of which Raytheon believes will come due for replacement in the next five to seven years. The active seeker and mid-course guidance datalink of the AIM-120 should also enable a single NASAMS fire unit to tackle many more targets simultaneously than a standard HAWK battery can (a standard Norwegian NASAMS battalion can tackle 72 targets with 72 missiles in the air at the same time).

Raytheon currently has no plans to trial the AMRAAM-ER against ballistic missile targets, so it could not take over from the MIM-23K variant, but would afford HAWK users a new upgrade path to tackle more conventional targets. The company may also look to expand those capabilities in the future.

In the meantime, it remains to be seen how the two systems would match up in probability kill terms, but if the missile delivers the range performance that Raytheon claims, even though the base elements from the AIM-120C and ESSM are not new missiles, the AMRAAM-ER will serve as a strong illustration of the development of rocketry and fuel technologies in the last few decades.

Each MIM-23 HAWK interceptor weighs 590 kg, is 5.08 m-long and has a diameter of 37 cm, not including the fins. By contrast, AMRAAM-ER weighs 279 kg, is 3.96 m-long and with a 25.4 cm diameter at its widest point (in the aft section).
 

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sferrin

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"The new missile is significantly longer than the standard AMRAAM, requiring a 12-inch extension to the front of the launch canister"

That's odd considering AIM-120 is 12' and ESSM is also 12'. ???


"but if the missile delivers the range performance that Raytheon claims, even though the base elements from the AIM-120C and ESSM are not new missiles, the AMRAAM-ER will serve as a strong illustration of the development of rocketry and fuel technologies in the last few decades.

Each MIM-23 HAWK interceptor weighs 590 kg, is 5.08 m-long and has a diameter of 37 cm, not including the fins. By contrast, AMRAAM-ER weighs 279 kg, is 3.96 m-long and with a 25.4 cm diameter at its widest point (in the aft section)."

But HAWKs warhead is over 3 times the weight of AIM-120s so I'm not sure how they come to the conclusion that it's "fuel technologies" that are responsible for the difference.
 

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sferrin said:
"The new missile is significantly longer than the standard AMRAAM, requiring a 12-inch extension to the front of the launch canister"

That's odd considering AIM-120 is 12' and ESSM is also 12'. ???


"but if the missile delivers the range performance that Raytheon claims, even though the base elements from the AIM-120C and ESSM are not new missiles, the AMRAAM-ER will serve as a strong illustration of the development of rocketry and fuel technologies in the last few decades.

Each MIM-23 HAWK interceptor weighs 590 kg, is 5.08 m-long and has a diameter of 37 cm, not including the fins. By contrast, AMRAAM-ER weighs 279 kg, is 3.96 m-long and with a 25.4 cm diameter at its widest point (in the aft section)."

But HAWKs warhead is over 3 times the weight of AIM-120s so I'm not sure how they come to the conclusion that it's "fuel technologies" that are responsible for the difference.
Out of curiosity would a 12" longer missile fit internally on the F-35/22? I assume it could be adapted easily to an external mount?
 

bring_it_on

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They could adapt it for external carriage for aircraft like the F-15, F-16 and F-18E/F that would greatly benefit from the longer range but I guess someone has to fund a full blown flight development program for the air to air portion.
 

bring_it_on

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Apart from Sentinel integration and the broader software interrogation with NASAM, what benefits would this weapon have over the Stunner/PAAC-4? I can understand the natural upgrade for NASAMS customers but I think the Stunner is a far better opportunity for Raytheon to provide a more affordable weapon to accompany the expensive PAC-3's and PAC-3MSE's. We dd identify a need for better targeting and situational awareness on cruise missiles from the OIF lessons learnt and a more affordable interceptor takes care of that. We would still need to improve the radar and field the IBCS but we have nearly half a billion into the Stunner and david sling and this should be an easy choice to make as Patriot system grows into the next decade. Of course none of this is likely to matter if we can't field affordable interceptors in quantity and earlier plans to get lower cost interceptors developed for the system have lost favor and they are making more longer term bets (DEW's I guess). However we still need a $1 Million or , < $ 1 Million interceptor in my opinion with the MSE running at around $5 Million per shot (FY16). An AMRAAM - C7 will still run you north of $1.4 Million so I don't see how the AMRAAM-ER can be significantly cheaper.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Sycf6CrIHk
 

TomS

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Out of curiosity would a 12" longer missile fit internally on the F-35/22? I assume it could be adapted easily to an external mount?
[/quote]

Not in the F-22 (the bay is just about 3.9 meters long).

The F-35 can fit JSOW, which is 4.1 meters long, so AMRAAM-ER ought to fit, mechanically.
 

marauder2048

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Still a bit baffled by Raytheon's positioning of AMRAAM-ER vis-a-vis ESSM Block II especially with AMRAAM-ER apparently being newbuild only.
The only advantage I can see would be earlier availability and maybe a modest cost improvement. Perhaps ESSM Block II won't fit in the NASAMs canisters?

The F-35 can fit JSOW, which is 4.1 meters long, so AMRAAM-ER ought to fit, mechanically.
Stupid question time: are the bays heated or otherwise climate controlled?
 

bring_it_on

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Number of targets may also be an issue since a lot of NASAMS customers don't have Patriot cover. The article states that an active missile was a customer demand. They still aren't cheap.
 

sferrin

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bring_it_on said:
Number of targets may also be an issue since a lot of NASAMS customers don't have Patriot cover. The article states that an active missile was a customer demand. They still aren't cheap.
If this is true:

(a standard Norwegian NASAMS battalion can tackle 72 targets with 72 missiles in the air at the same time)

Then it makes sense they'd demand active homing. Trying to illuminate that many targets (even with time sharing like Aegis) would be a mess.
 

marauder2048

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sferrin said:
bring_it_on said:
Number of targets may also be an issue since a lot of NASAMS customers don't have Patriot cover. The article states that an active missile was a customer demand. They still aren't cheap.
If this is true:

(a standard Norwegian NASAMS battalion can tackle 72 targets with 72 missiles in the air at the same time)

Then it makes sense they'd demand active homing. Trying to illuminate that many targets (even with time sharing like Aegis) would be a mess.

IIRC, the Polish SAM competition has multiple tiers and NASAMS is a serious contender for the "Narew" medium-tier; a longer range, active missile would be vital
especially if the Israelis are offering Derby-ER or Stunner for SPYDER.
 

bring_it_on

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Also for the Middle East Customers that won't have the Stunner option. The AMRAAM-ER should be the cheapest US/Western weapon available to complement the PAC-2 and PAC-3 missiles and I believe that there is plenty of added capability (from what Raytheon claims) to justify the loss of a common inventory (air missiles). What remains to be seen is whether Raytheon/Kongsberg or someone else pushes a new radar given the much improved intercept capability over the SLAMRAAM.

IIRC, the Polish SAM competition has multiple tiers and NASAMS is a serious contender for the "Narew" medium-tier; a longer range, active missile would be vital
especially if the Israelis are offering Derby-ER or Stunner for SPYDER.
The way I remember Narew was that Poland was going to develop something internally with a foreign partner. Perhaps a custom NASAMS could be it, but what I remember was that it would be something that would be highly indigenous. Perhaps they'd be looking at developing something round the AMRAAM-ER. Do they still plan to have all Narew units inducted by 2025 like the Wisla?
 

bring_it_on

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Picture from Farnborough 16.Looks good for NAREW (Poland).

 

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPEoP_EGTQ0
 

FighterJock

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fredymac said:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPEoP_EGTQ0
That is one cool video fredymac. Thanks for posting B). By the way is the missile really that long or is that just the booster rocket?
 
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