Lockheed Martin on 29 July conducted the first controlled vehicle test flight of redesigned version of its Miniature Hit-to-Kill (MHTK) semi-active radar homing missile as part of the US Army's Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Centre's (AMRDEC's) Extended Area Protection and Survivability (EAPS) Science & Technology (S&T) programme.
MHTK is a compact counter-rocket, artillery, and mortar (C-RAM)-optimised interceptor, developed by Lockheed Martin for the EAPS S&T initiative, to deliver area protection against proliferating high volume, low technology threats in theatre.
The original MHTK solution for EAPS S&T was just under 68.6 cm in length, approximately 40 mm in diameter, and with a launch weight of about 2.2 kg.
Intended to deliver greater agility, the new design sees an increase in the length of the airframe to just over 71.1 cm, but with no change in weight, and a slightly sharper front end. Four additional fins have been added to the rear of the missile - forward of, and cropped at 45º to the original four fins - with their trailing edge, and the leading edge of the original fins, more or less aligned. Both sets of rear fins are aligned with the forward canard assembly. Chris Murphy, Lockheed Missiles & Fire Control Business Development lead for MHTK said that the modifications improve by 30-40% MHTK's agility to meet anticipated needs for increased capability beyond what was envisioned at the beginning of the S&T programme.
Funded by AMRDEC and conducted at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, the 29 July test flight is the second launch of the redesigned MHTK. In April, Lockheed Martin funded a ballistic shot from the US Army's Multi-Mission Launcher at White Sands to demonstrate the enhanced MHTK's mechanical, electrical, and software integration with the launcher, and its ability to work as part of the Army's proposed integrated air and missile defence network.
Lockheed Martin has flight-tested an improved version of its Miniature Hit-to-Kill (MHTK) missile in its final firing under a U.S. Army program to develop technology for a counter-rocket, artillery and mortar (C-RAM) interceptor.
The test at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, completes work under the Army’s Extended Area Protection and Survivability (EAPS) program and was the first involving a redesigned MHTK interceptor with increased agility.
MHTK is 40 mm in diameter, less than 72 cm (2.5 ft.) long and weighs about 5 lb. The improved missile is about 1 in. longer and has eight tail fins—an extra set of four mounted slightly forward of, and clocked through 45 deg. relative to, the original set of four. This increases agility by 20-30% to meet anticipated threats.
The end-of-July flight test demonstrated the agility and aerodynamic capability of the MHTK, Lockheed says. The interceptor has semi-active radar homing guidance and is designed to defend a radius of more than 2.5 km (1.5 mi.) with a cost per kill of $16,000 or less
Lockheed Martin is looking to leverage its expertise in long-range missiles and deep strike capability as the company begins work on developing a replacement for its MGM-140 Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS).
Investing in the next-generation Long-Range Precision Fires (LRPF) in order to provide combatant commanders (COCOMS) with increased long-range fires lethality is one of a handful of army fires objectives for fiscal year (FY) 2017.
Lockheed Martin was one of two companies awarded a contract for phase one of the risk reduction for LRPF, Misty Holmes, LRPF business development manager for Lockheed Martin told IHS Jane's .
"We will do trade studies, analysis, and modeling and simulation to ensure we are providing that best of breed and making sure our Lockheed Martin offering is uniquely postured to deliver state of the art technology for the LRPF solution," she said.
Work done during the nine-month phase one effort will prepare the companies for technology maturation risk reduction (TMRR).
"We will leverage our previous expertise in the long-range surface-to-surface tactical ballistic missile technology. That is our market space and we are the only providers to [offer a] surface-to-surface missile to the US Army, especially in that deep strike capability," she said.
The US Army also awarded Raytheon a contract for the risk reduction phase.
"We have extraordinary performance that we have demonstrated in the field and we are going to use that legacy to provide the user with a munition system that will provide increased load out to two or more missiles per pod," Holmes added.
The army has asked for the ability to load two munitions into a single launch pod container for the M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS). Currently, that configuration is not possible with the ATACMS. Increasing the number of LRPFs per pod would enable the army to increase the rate of fires per launcher load.
Holmes noted the company is designing the LRPF system with the future in mind.
"We are designing all this so the system architecture can easily adapt as the threat evolves and [we can] continue to meet warfighting needs," she said.
Although Lockheed Martin provides the ATACMS to the US Army, Holmes said company engineers will leverage the full breadth of the Lockheed Martin projectile portfolio for LRPF.
"We want to make sure that this user has a best of breed, so we are taking that best of breed mentality and taking advantage of [US Department of Defense] buys so that we can bridge the LRPF gap faster for the future munition needs," she said. "We are not just relying on ATACMS."
In July, Lockheed Martin submitted a technology maturation proposal to the army. Holmes said the company is anticipating an award decision in 2017.
"The technology maturation phase will result in prototype flight test hardware so we will be flying missiles," she said.
ATACMS is undergoing a modernisation effort to extend the shelf life of the current long-range missile to bridge the gap until LRPF can be developed and fielded.
The stockpile reliability programme will enable the service life of ATACMS to be extended beyond the original contractual requirement of 10 years. The army has authorised a refresh programme, which will take end of service life missiles containing M 74 submunitions and returns them to service with a cluster munition compliant warhead.
That change is required because in 2019 the US Department of Defense will no longer allow the use of cluster munitions. That decision led to the need to have ATACMS warhead replaced with a unitary warhead.
Lockheed Martin, the prime contractor for ATACMS, is performing the ATACMS service life extension programme. The company is currently under contract for the engineering and manufacturing development phase. The first system qualification test flight of the modernised missiles will likely occur in November, followed by a production decision in early 2017.
That plus the reported US Army interest in an anti-ship capability might suggest that LRPF could meet the JGSDF's Type 23 antiship missile requirement.marauder2048 said:Possible Japanese co-development and co-production of LRPF is a new wrinkle (for me at least). From AUSA Redstone 2016 presentation.
Agree 100%John21 said:Lets just hope it doesn't go the way of NetFires, SLAMRAAM...etc . glad that the Army is at least trying to get back into the Anti-aircraft/Air-defense game.Moose said:That launcher is the smartest thing the Army has cooked up in a long time. Just keep adapting new payloads.
Throw a Harpoon booster on it and it would slide right into a current Harpoon canister. Put a Mk114 (VL-ASROC) booster on it and fire it from a Mk41. (And I'd still like to know how they managed to stuff an ATACMs into a Mk41 cell. Too bad no canister drawings are out there.)TomS said:That plus the reported US Army interest in an anti-ship capability might suggest that LRPF could meet the JGSDF's Type 23 antiship missile requirement.
Do you know if the LRPF competitors are looking to leverage an in-service (USN or USA) propulsion solution?marauder2048 said:
They don't say, but Raytheon do mention similarities to existing "shipboard and air defense" missiles including SM-3 and SM-6. That makes me think they might be taking bits from the latest Mk-104 DTRM version.bring_it_on said:
We also successfully demonstrated a composite rocket motor case enhanced technology providing improved insensitive munitions for the Long Range Precision Fires rocket motor.
Insensitive munitions are munitions that minimize hazardous reactions to unplanned mechanical shocks, fire, and impact by shrapnel and can still function as intended to destroy their targets.
The US Army hopes to add a laser to its next-generation air defence system known as the Indirect Fire Protection Capability (IFPC).
Accordingly, US Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command (USASMDC/ARSTRAT) has evolved the High Energy Laser Tactical Vehicle Demonstrator (HEL TVD) as 'a pre-prototype system' that could potentially address objective requirements for the IFPC Increment 2 - Intercept Block I (IFPC Inc 2-I), an official from the command told Jane's on 18 May at the Pentagon.
The IFPC system overall is meant to address incoming rocket, artillery, and mortar (RAM) and unmanned aerial system (UAS) threats at fixed or semi-fixed locations.
Ultimately, the HEL TVD is to consist of a 100 kW-class laser and a precision pointing, high-velocity target tracking beam control system, and is to demonstrate a counter-RAM (C-RAM) and counter-UAS (C-UAS) capability sometime around fiscal year 2022 (FY 2022).
For now, the High Energy Laser Mobile Test Truck (HELMTT) is providing "key knowledge points for the HEL TVD" and has demonstrated a 10-kW laser against small calibre mortars and UASs, according to SMDC.
A previous effort was based on a Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck, but in early FY 2016 the army instead decided to use "a more compact laser system" on a Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles truck.
Sometime in 2017 a 50 kW-class laser is to be integrated into the HELMTT and a C-RAM/C-UAS is to be conducted in late FY 2018.
Moreover, USASMDC/ARSTRAT has been working on a Mobile Experimental High Energy Laser (MEHEL) based on a Stryker wheeled combat vehicle and using a 5 kW laser system to engage small fixed-wing and quadcopter UASs.
The MEHEL is in a second phase after trailing a 2 kW laser against UASs, and the 5 kW laser - supplied by partner Boeing - is to provide faster engagement times and greater range. Stryker manufacturer General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) is also working on the effort, and the Stryker is the first combat vehicle to mount such a laser.
The company announced on 12 June that it received a USD116.4 million contract to enter the 34-month TMRR phase that will culminate in three guided flight tests at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico....
JR Smith, director of advanced land warfare systems for Raytheon Missile Systems, told Jane's on 15 June that the company is looking at ways it might be able to accelerate the programme.
"All the various components and technologies involved are really kind of here and now," he said. "We are not trying to invent anything new. When you start looking at everything that is involved here - GPS receivers and guidance electronics, the control actuation system, warhead design - all this is well understood."
In March Raytheon conducted a test of its LRPF warhead solution. Smith noted the test went "very well".....
Lockheed Martin had also received an award for the initial risk mitigation effort. The army is expected to award the company a similar contract for the TMRR phase.
Although Smith could not provide details of any of the components or subcomponents due to the ongoing LRPF competition, he said LRPF is leveraging work that Raytheon has in place on other programmes.
"We are leveraging stuff at the subcomponent level that we know is going to work well," he said. "In addition to getting high performance, the cost of manufacturing is obviously a key consideration.
"The art is putting it all together. That is one thing we do very well - system engineering. Once you have chosen your solution and some of these are sitting on the shelf, you start putting it together into subcomponents and testing those subcomponents."
Once the subcomponent testing is complete and the components have been put together, Raytheon will begin work to ensure the projectile integrates with the launch pod and projectile container, Smith said.
Those tests could include test-firing the projectile (although not with the full rocket motor) to ensure it can be expelled from the launch pod and possibly a controlled test shot, at short range, to build up to the guided flight tests planned at the end of the TMRR phase.
Raytheon also will be working with its partner, Orbital ATK, to ensure the rocket motor can meet all the insensitive munitions tests.
The rocket motor is a scaled-up variant of the motor used on the Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System.
"Scaling it up to a 17-inch (43.18 cm) diameter missile … there is some work to be done, but it is well understood [and] not considered to be risky in any sense," he said.
The rocket motor tests are designed to demonstrate, for example, that the engine can withstand a high-speed fragment impact, a gradual increase in temperature such as when exposed to a fire, and impact from a bullet....
Thank you for the update Sir.marauder2048 said:Per the latest SAR summary, it looks like the extended range GMLRS variant (150 km range with room for payload growth)
is more definite:
Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System/Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System Alternative Warhead (GMLRS/GMLRS AW) – Program costs increased $734.1 million (+10.74%) from $6,834.0 million to $7,568.1 million, due primarily to increased production capacity (+$386.5 million), development of the Extended Range GMLRS (+$372.3 million) , a revised estimate to reflect the actual cost of production units (+$82.1 million), support for GMLRS variants (+$20.0 million), and revised escalation indices (+$5.0 million). These increases were partially offset by accelerating the procurement buy profile to meet maximum production capacity of 6,000 rockets in FY 2018 (-$93.3 million) and acceleration of production activities in FY 2022-FY 2029