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AMRAAM-ER

FighterJock

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fredymac said:
Off hand I would guess AMRAAM-ER and ESSM are about the same size. They certainly look similar.
You would certainly would have too have a second look, having both missiles side in the photo they look alike.
 

sferrin

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I would be interesting to see a list of the differences and the reasoning behind them. They probably have the same motor, fins, actuators, etc. Where they differ is in the front ends and guidance methods. (AMRAAM-ER/SLAMRAAM-ER is active and ESSM semiactive.) That said, their back ends don't appear to be identical either. ???
 

TomS

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The big difference, AIUI, is that ESSM Block 2 retains a semi-active mode option (in addition to the active mode), while AMRAAM-ER is active-only. That may be necessary for some legacy naval platforms.

Also, I think AMRAAM-ER has only an X-band datalink, through the fire control radar. ESSM has dual S-/X-band links to accommodate different fire control systems.
 

bring_it_on

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Not to mention that the AMRAAM-ER is probably plug and play with NASAMS and is therefore a much cheaper path to puruse for Raytheon using internal funding. ESSM Block II is some time away and Raytheon needs the ER to compete in competitions that need systems much before then.
 

TomS

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bring_it_on said:
Not to mention that the AMRAAM-ER is probably plug and play with NASAMS and is therefore a much cheaper path to puruse for Raytheon using internal funding. ESSM Block II is some time away and Raytheon needs the ER to compete in competitions that need systems much before then.
This is a good point. ESSM and ESSM Block II look basically the same as Standard Missile from a datalink format perspective -- AEGIS, for example, treats ESSM as a variant of SM-2.
 

marauder2048

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sferrin said:
I would be interesting to see a list of the differences and the reasoning behind them. They probably have the same motor, fins, actuators, etc. Where they differ is in the front ends and guidance methods. (AMRAAM-ER/SLAMRAAM-ER is active and ESSM semiactive.) That said, their back ends don't appear to be identical either. ???
TomS said:
The big difference, AIUI, is that ESSM Block 2 retains a semi-active mode option (in addition to the active mode), while AMRAAM-ER is active-only. That may be necessary for some legacy naval platforms.

Also, I think AMRAAM-ER has only an X-band datalink, through the fire control radar. ESSM has dual S-/X-band links to accommodate different fire control systems.
Yep. ESSM needs a rear antenna to receive the illuminator reference signal.
AMRAAM wouldn't need that but it's possible that the AMRAAM uplink isn't designed to withstand the same thermal environment as the ESSM antenna so it was repackaged elsewhere.
 

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AMRAAM ER destroys drone target in first modified Raytheon missile test

An extended range (ER) version of Raytheon's Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM ER) destroyed a target drone in the new missile's first flight test, validating the weapon's compatibility with Kongsberg's National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System (NASAMS) launcher.

Raytheon and Kongsberg plan to conduct upward of four more test flights to expand the system's envelope, Michael High, AMRAAM ER programme manager for Raytheon said recently.

In the 31 August demonstration, an AMRAAM ER, shot from a canister launcher, destroyed a Meggitt Aerial Targets' Banshee 80 target drone. The test occurred at the Andøya Test Center, Andøya Island in northern Norway.

AMRAAM ER, like the legacy AMRAAM, is an all-weather missile with an active seeker. The ER variant uses the guidance section of an AIM-120C-7 and back-end from a RIM-162 Evolved SeaSparrow missile (ESSM), which gives the AMRAAM ER "more than a 50% increase in thrust", High noted.

"Higher speed equals greater manoeuvrability, which gives us capability against a wider range of targets and gives us higher probability of kill once we reach the target," he said.

Both AMRAAM and the ER version can receive updates through an in-flight uplink even though it is an active missile, High noted.

"It continues to receive updates until the seeker goes active," he said.

AMRAAM ER increases the altitude and the range of the legacy missile.

"We know there is a need out there for a medium-range air defence system with proven capability of AMRAAM," High added.

Raytheon also provides the missile interface unit for NASAMS.

NASAMS is a short- to medium-range air defence system, then when combined with AMRAAM, can be used against cruise missiles, hovering targets, fighter aircraft, and unmanned aerial systems, High said.

The NASAMS fire unit includes a Flight Distribution Center (FDC), Sentinel X-band radar that is linked by field wire or radio to the FDC, and the launchers. The FDC is manned by two operators.

For the past 13 years, NASAMS has been providing air defence for the US National Capital Region (NCR), which includes Washington, DC.

"You can have a mixed load out [of AMRAAM and AMRAAM ERs] in NASAMS, so if a country wishes to go [short- or medium-range air defence) from the same system they can do that," High said.

AMRAAM ER is 30.48 cm longer than an AMRAAM. The ER variant is 396.2 cm long, 17.7 cm diameter, and weighs 278.9 kg. AMRAAM is 368.3 cm long, 17.7 cm diameter, and weighs 158.7 kg.

The addition of the ESSM rocket adds 25.4 cm to the ER version's length. The back-end is mated to the AMRAAM missile using an adapter ring, High said.

A single circuit card assembly translates commands from AMRAAM and sends them back to the ESSM fins which control the missile, he added.

"It is relatively low cost and relatively low risk," High said.

Some minor software changes have to be made to the NASAMS' FDC to enable the operators to determine the appropriate range to shoot each missile, when a launcher is loaded with both AMRAAMs and AMRAAM ERs, he said. "That is one change to the FDC."

Minor structural and mechanical changes were also made to the NASAMS canister launcher, High added.

No changes were made to the AN/MPQ-64F1 Sentinel radar, which is the fire-control system for NASAMS.

High added he expects AMRAAM ER to be available in the 2020 timeframe. Raytheon must go through the procedures to make AMRAAM ER available for foreign military sales and the company must be able to fit the ER version into the AMRAAM's production schedule.

COMMENT
Although no decision has been made if the NASAMS units deployed around the NCR will be upgraded to launch AMRAAM ER, Raytheon has offered to conduct live fire demonstrations of the upgraded missile. US Northern Command provides for the support and defence of the NCR.
 

marauder2048

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Was the AIM-120 datalink already repositioned for C7+ ? The previous variants had the datalink in the tail.
 

litzj

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So, it become the "AMRAAM"ilzed version of ESSM...

it has active seeker to save guidance capability of launch platform like MICA based MEADS...

Maybe naval warship like this because of the saving guidance asset of the ship.
 

icyplanetnhc

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Curious, in terms of capability, what does the AMRAAM-ER offer over the ESSM Block 2, or vice versa, as both have active seekers. As far as I can tell, one is a land-based SAM while the other is ship-based, so there are probably software distinctions.

What's somewhat interesting is that the AMRAAM-ER at 3.96m is a bit longer than the ESSM's 3.66m. I believe the latter was supposed to fit into the same cell as the original Sea Sparrow. The AMRAAM-ER doesn't face a similar constraint, so does the greater length offer better aerodynamic performance (they both have the same motor).
 

bring_it_on

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Curious, in terms of capability, what does the AMRAAM-ER offer over the ESSM Block 2, or vice versa, as both have active seekers. As far as I can tell, one is a land-based SAM while the other is ship-based, so there are probably software distinctions.
This will be integrated with NASAMS and ready for export by 2020. ESSM Block 2 based on the SM6 seeker technology (also related) will probably show up for Naval use around then and will most likely be quite a bit more expensive to integrate with the NASAMS without a customer funding the endeavor. Raytheon probably sensed a market for this weapon (such as in Poland for example) as part of the extended range NASAM with customers that did not want to wait or pay for the ESSM block 2 integration which could be years down the road.
 

marauder2048

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bring_it_on said:
Curious, in terms of capability, what does the AMRAAM-ER offer over the ESSM Block 2, or vice versa, as both have active seekers. As far as I can tell, one is a land-based SAM while the other is ship-based, so there are probably software distinctions.
This will be integrated with NASAMS and ready for export by 2020. ESSM Block 2 based on the SM6 seeker technology (also related) will probably show up for Naval use around then and will most likely be quite a bit more expensive to integrate with the NASAMS without a customer funding the endeavor. Raytheon probably sensed a market for this weapon (such as in Poland for example) as part of the extended range NASAM with customers that did not want to wait or pay for the ESSM block 2 integration which could be years down the road.
ESSM Block 2 has a larger seeker aperture (10 inches vs. 7 for AMRAAM-ER), a new proximity fuze and a new warhead.

Poland was definitely a motivator for AMRAAM-ER from a workshare perspective: you can't get workshare on ESSM Block 2 without
joining the ESSM consortium and receiving accommodation from the 12 other members i.e. there would be no guaranteed workshare
if you bought ESSM Block II which would hurt Raytheon's competiveness in those RFPs that have workshare requirements.
 

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bring_it_on

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Interesting update from Jane's regarding Norway's acquisition of the NASAMS II. They appear to be exploring adding another sensor and so far do not have a need for the AMRAAM-ER. They'll probably their upgrade their Improved Sentinels to the US-Army's A4 standard but this appears to be a different sensor altogether.

http://www.janes.com/article/67728/norwegian-army-to-acquire-mobile-air-defence-systems

Hans Christian Hagen, vice president business development, Integrated Defence Systems at KDA, told Jane's that development of the Army Ground Based Air Defence system will see new componentry integrated with existing elements of NASAMS architecture, including the NASAMS Fire Distribution Centre command and control (C2) node, the NASAMS Multi-Missile Launcher, and the AN/MPQ-64 F1 Improved Sentinel 3D X-band radar. Hagen added that the new system could potentially field a complementary radar to the AN/MPQ-64 F1, and did not discount an independent C2 solution for the new system.
 
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