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DARPA Long Range Anti-ship Missile (LRASM)

bobbymike

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Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM)
Program Manager: Mr. Rob McHenry

In response to emerging threats, DARPA is building on the technology advances developed under the Hypersonics Flight (HyFly) program to develop and demonstrate standoff anti-ship strike technologies to reverse the significant and growing U.S. naval surface strike capability deficit. The Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) program will invest in advanced component and integrated system technologies capable of providing a dramatic leap ahead in U.S. surface warfare capability, focusing on organic wide area target discrimination in a network denied environment, innovative terminal survivability in the face of advanced defensive systems, and high assurance target lethality approaches. Specific technology development areas will include robust precision guidance, navigation and control with GPS denial; multi-modal sensors for high probability target identification in dense shipping environments; and precision aimpoint targeting for maximum lethality. Component technologies will be developed, demonstrated, and integrated into a prototype demonstration weapon system. The program will result in high fidelity demonstration to support military utility assessment.
 

flateric

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Interview with Rob McHenry, Program Manager, Tactical Technology Office (6/09)

Jan Walker: Today, we're here with Rob McHenry, a program manager in the Tactical Technology Office, and the first thing I guess I'll start with is you're going to shortly be kicking off your Long-Range Anti Ship Missile demonstration program, or LRASM, as we fondly call it.
Tell us a little bit about what LRASM is and what that program's goal is.
Rob: OK, Jan. LRASM is an effort to place the US Navy in a dominant position on the high seas.
So, within the program, we've defined a set of capabilities to help assure that. The first is long range. We want US Navy cruisers and destroyers to be able to stand off from outside of potential adversaries’ direct counter fire range, and be able to safely, from that position, be able to engage and destroy high value targets they may be engaging against. So, the missile has a range requirement that's well beyond potential adversary ranges that we may have to face.
Once the missile flies that far, it has a requirement to be able to independently detect and validate the target that it was shot at.
Once it finds that target, then it has to be able to penetrate the air defenses. The standard of maritime integrated air defenses has risen dramatically over the past few years. There are other countries working very hard on their capabilities, to be able to defend a surface force of ships at sea.
The LRASM missile is going to use a special set of capabilities to be able to survivably penetrate through those defensive layers and be able to reach the target it was shot at. And then finally, once it gets to that target, it has to have a lethal capability to make a difference once it gets there.
Jan: So this is a capability that the Navy currently doesn't have?
Rob: The Navy currently has a credible anti ship missile capability.
People talk about sometimes the balance between the left side of the kill chain, which is sort of the sensors and networks that target a weapon, and the right side, which is the weapon itself that actually goes out and prosecutes a target.
Right now, all the weapons that we use are dependent on that left side. They need a lot of things to feed and help them. LRASM is a dramatically different approach in that we've cut off the entire left side.
It's a new level of capability organic to the weapon itself, so that without the precise target cueing from all these other systems and networks to provide it and feed it to the weapon, the weapon itself can go out to the target area and complete the mission.
Jan: You've probably given us some clues as to what your key technical challenges are. I assume the sensor is one of them.
Rob: That's exactly right. Starting from the chain of events as this missile goes out and does its job, there's a set of technical challenges associated with integrating it into the ship launch systems. It's called the vertical launch system, that's on US Navy destroyers and cruisers. And so this missile... it has to be packaged such that it can safely be operated from those Navy platforms. [Other challenges include] the propulsion systems to be able to achieve these very long-range objectives, and also some interesting flight profiles to improve their survivability. So, there's a propulsion set of technologies that have to be developed and matured.
But, you're right, the seeker is one of the hardest areas. Basically, we're packaging all the capability of some very sophisticated surveillance aircraft and some other platforms onto this very small missile, and doing it to a similar level of capability.
And so developing those sensors, integrating them together, and then being able to have the automated processing on board the weapon so that, in real time, it can make sense out of all that sensor data that it's getting and make the tactical decisions it needs to hit the target.
Jan: It sounds like you're pretty excited to get this thing started. Just so people know when to start looking for more information.
Rob: Yes, we're in the final process of getting the awards formalized, and we expect within the next 60 days to have those awards made, and be moving forward.
Jan: That sounds great. I wanted to find out a little bit about your background, and how you came to be at DARPA.
Rob: I have a Navy background. I was a submarine officer in the Navy, and had a very fortunate opportunity to go work for the Chief of Naval Operations in the OPNAV staff, the Navy staff here in Washington, DC. During that time, when I was in uniform in the Navy, I actually had the opportunity to come over to DARPA and spend some time here. DARPA has a program called the Service Chiefs' Intern Program, where the DARPA director invites the Chiefs of Staff of each of the Services to send officers over to sort of be dunked into the DARPA process, and get some understanding of what DARPA is, and how it helps the Department of Defense.
So, I was actually Service Chief Intern number one. I was the very first prototype of that thought, that then director Tony Tether had. Admiral Clark asked me, from his staff, "Come over and see what DARPA is about."
So, from that very early time I kind of got exposed to what DARPA was. I was just amazed at DARPA's ability to explore different challenging technical areas, to move quickly without some of the burdens that [in the] the rest of the Department of Defense seems to slow [things] down a little bit.
I've often said that, in other jobs, it takes five minutes to see what the real challenge is, but then I'll spend a year working through politics and finance and trying to execute a solution to go fix the problem.
DARPA is kind of the opposite of that. You may spend a year thinking through an idea, and polishing and crafting the right program, but once you have that idea right, it takes five minutes to go to the director, get funding, and go move forward and execute the program.
It's unprecedented anywhere else in the federal government to be able to work like that.
Jan: So, when you came to DARPA, did you have any particular goals or things that you wanted to accomplish when you were here?
Rob: Yes, coming from my Navy background, I obviously tend to think in terms of naval operations and systems to support the Navy. In addition to programs like LRASM, [I’m] looking at different ways to execute similar approaches to weapons systems, and how to execute strike and attack missions. One of my other big areas of interest is in large scale, unmanned surface vehicles. The Navy, to date, has only explored a very small corner of what I think the potential is for unmanned surface vehicles to change the way that we conduct naval operations. Everything from different missions, different technologies to make unmanned surface vehicles, ranging from the kinds of small things we think about as unmanned surface vehicles today up to large scale unmanned ships someday. I'm trying to put together a portfolio of programs to explore that space.
Jan: That sounds really interesting. Thank you so much for coming by today.
Rob: Thank you, Jan.
 

flateric

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News Release
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
3701 North Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22203-1714
www.darpa.mil/newsroom
IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 30, 2009
DARPA BEGINS LONG RANGE ANTI-SHIP MISSILE PROGRAM
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) today awarded the first contract under the Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) program. Lockheed Martin Corp., Missiles and Fire Control, Orlando, Fla., will receive $10 million for the initial nine-month phase of the missile demonstration effort. An additional award is expected.
The joint DARPA/U.S. Navy LRASM program will provide Navy surface forces with leap-ahead anti-surface warfare capability to engage critical targets at extended ranges. Consistent with DARPA’s mission to prevent technological surprise, the LRASM concept is designed to reduce dependence on precision intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance sources, data links, and GPS by demonstrating advanced onboard sensing and processing capabilities. The unprecedented capabilities will allow precision engagement of moving ships based only on coarse, initial target cueing, even in extremely hostile environments. LRASM will be compatible with the Navy Vertical Launch System and will have sufficient range to engage targets from well beyond direct counter-fire ranges of projected threats. The missile will also employ innovative features that enable it to survivably penetrate advanced air defenses and deliver high-assurance lethality.
During the program’s initial phase, contractors will conduct trade studies and system performance analysis, develop a preliminary design, and perform risk reduction testing of critical elements of their system. This phase will conclude with a preliminary design review, operational effectiveness assessment, and evaluation of the technology development plan to complete the remaining DARPA demonstration program and operational transition to the Navy.
Following the initial phase, DARPA and the Navy will review results and make decisions regarding the way forward for the program, which notionally could include an additional 27 months to refine missile design, conduct subsystem developmental tests, complete a critical design review, and conduct flight tests. The program would culminate in a high-fidelity, end-to-end flight demonstration of LRASM performance. The program objective is to fly a technology demonstration system of sufficient maturity to support rapid transition to operational use.
-END-
Media with questions, please contact Jan Walker, (703) 696-2404, or jan.walker@darpa.mil. Contractors or military organizations, contact Rob McHenry at (703) 526-4724.


DARPA selects LM for LRASM program
Published: July 2, 2009 at 12:54 PM

WASHINGTON, July 2 (UPI) -- Lockheed Martin has been contracted by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to support the Long Range Anti-Ship Missile program.

U.S. company Lockheed Martin says its Florida-based Missiles and Fire Control unit was awarded the DARPA funding. Officials say Lockheed Martin is the first to receive a contract as part of the LRASM program.

Under the $10 million missile demonstration effort, Lockheed Martin will conduct "trade studies and system performance analysis, develop a preliminary design, and perform risk reduction testing of critical elements of (its) system," a news release said.

The LRASM program is a joint effort by DARPA and the U.S. Navy to develop next-generation anti-surface warfare technologies that can engage targets at extended ranges.
 

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sferrin

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All of that and no range, performance, or payload requirements. ::)
 

GLAR

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Shades of TASM, the no-see'em, no-hit'em, wundermissile that was replaced by...AGM-84 ::)

That said, there is nothing here that is all that hard to do.

Speed gets you to the target before it can find it's own firing solution or displace into a dense surface traffic environment.

Alternatively, putting the round in the water, as a spiders web of shot geometries and low gate-time engagement lag as a function of a missile-equivalent CAPTOR could also work.

The Soviets have long since (Sunburn and Shipwreck) 'had the idea' that putting a hunting datalink into the missile salvo and then letting them do the sort-to-mort and gate passage (timing of surround sound attacks) stackup could be useful in the face of lost Tu-95 Bear D (or Slava or Kirov) ASST.

Finally, the essence of successful penetration AND lethality is always saturation, by the first firepower law: SHOOT SHOOT SHOOT.

The question then becomes whether you want to submunition out a bunch of KKVs, launch mini turbine powered systems with perhaps ejected submunitions as a flock formation or rely on rod from god approaches to use fewer but more rapidly onset shots to storm the gates as it were.

One need only look at the Forrestal and Enterprise among many other carrier related mishaps due to deck-park stacking of armed and fueled airframes to see that it is simple to disable USN airpower by beating it with it's own stick. Smaller combattants continue to be vulnerable to stealth profile and late-activation compression of seeker lightoff etc. See the Saar 5 off Lebanon and the Stark. Everytime you put a ship on a _fixed_ route and/or a committed (NGS) mission close in to the shoreline, it would appear that even fairly sophisticated defenses (Barak and Standard, backed by guns and EXCM) are not enough. At the same time, the ability to absorb damage and remain afloat is not questioned. Adding strike zones while reducing warhead weight on light AShM thus doesn't seem to do any harm and might increase (spread) damage through more subsystems, scoring more than a mission/mobility kill while at the same time -creating- the masking angles which support the terminal penetration, via surround sound attack from multiple compass points.

If there is a problem with this, it seems to be in the profile performance mixing required in the midcourse. A cruise missile using a Tomahawk style configuration doesn't fly well above 10,000ft ASL. Wings too small, weight too much, too much longitudinal roll and pitch for the control surfaces. Yet that area of performance is exactly what you need to both deconflict the weapon from other ships and to provide good sensor graze angles.

OTOH, a high speed penetrator like Fast Hawk or one of the other HCM programs will have no endurance for target BAMSE like wide area search and also poses difficulties in bussing out terminally guided submunitions.

If you could solve the bus out difficulties (using speed brake petals and/or aero-surfing to brake the delivery system and then a LOCAAS-like ejection of encapsulated weapons which drogued out the back) the hunting drone could help with preconditional target signature templating (as Penguin already uses) and keep the bus cheap as a common vehicle element in an existing (land attack biased) HCM family.

I still think you are going to need offboard ASST, the Tomahawk showed how hard it was to acquire targets let alone score hits after a mere 250nm midcourse period. But theoretically, this could come from rapidplacement buoys or long line (bottom lay) sensors with acoustic as well as IR/radar feed. Or from longrange ROTHR (JORN) type standoff assets that don't need to be separately inserted to the AOR with the risks and basing mode requirements that implies.

If I have a question, it is that I don't see the expansion of fleet sizes in the Indo/Pak, Chinese or Russian threats to be worth the cost of 'more harpoons please' simple numbers theory on massing fires. Does the expansion of hypersonics and extended range shooting mean we are finally paying attention to the limited Alpha/Bramos type threat base? Or does it mean that the lid is finally about to pop on DEWS?


KPl.
 

MsKapler

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hi. im new to this, what does DARPA stands for again?
 

Firefly 2

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MsKapler said:
hi. im new to this, what does DARPA stands for again?
Google is your friend:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DARPA
http://www.darpa.mil/
 

bobbymike

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Aerojets Ramjet Propulsion Engine Successfully Meets Coyote High Diver Mission Requirements
On US Navys Initial Flight Test

Published on ASDNews: Aug 16, 2010
(Sacramento, Calif., August 13, 2010) -- Aerojet, a GenCorp (NYSE: GY) company, announced today that its Supersonic Sea-Skimming Target (SSST) ramjet propulsion system successfully completed the first flight test of the Coyote High Diver variant supersonic target mission. Orbital Sciences Corporation (Orbital) developed the target vehicle and uses Aerojet's solid-fueled Variable Flow Ducted Rocket (VFDR) propulsion engine. Orbital upgraded the original SSST configuration with guidance software modifications that enable the vehicle to operate at altitudes up to 50,000 feet.

During the naval test at San Nicolas Island, Calif., the Coyote High Diver vehicle was rail-launched from the ground and boosted by a solid rocket motor to ramjet-takeover speed. Under ramjet-power, the system ascended subsequently to an altitude of 35,000 feet and reached a cruise speed of approximately Mach 3.3. At the end of its 110 nautical-mile-long flight, the vehicle executed a planned 40-degree unpowered dive to its objective point near the ocean's surface. This flight mission was crucial in validating the vehicle's suitability for future high-altitude naval threat simulations and anti-missile response system tests.

"It is of key logistical significance that the Aerojet-provided VFDR engine is 100 percent the same configuration for both the low-altitude SSST and the high-altitude Hi Diver flight missions," said Eric Coble, Aerojet's VFDR program manager.

Aerojet's Executive Director of Force Projection & Protection, Dick Johnson, added: "We have invested significantly in this ramjet propulsion technology over the last several decades and today, Aerojet is the world's first (and still only) manufacturer of production solid-fueled VFDR propulsion vehicles. The Coyote High Diver vehicle provides great flexibility to the Navy for capable variant targets without the additional development, production costs and schedule usually associated with vehicles providing significant new capabilities."
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Why not make this into an anti-ship missile.
 

sferrin

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Because it's nearly 30 feet long more than 31 feet long and adding a warhead would drop it's range and velocity through the floor.

http://www.designation-systems.net/dusrm/m-163.html
 

Demon Lord Razgriz

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sferrin said:
Because it's nearly 30 feet long more than 31 feet long and adding a warhead would drop it's range and velocity through the floor.

http://www.designation-systems.net/dusrm/m-163.html
That is with an obsolete booster attached. I bet if they used a newer, smaller, more powerful booster, you could keep the stats up.
 

TomS

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Demon Lord Razgriz said:
sferrin said:
Because it's nearly 30 feet long more than 31 feet long and adding a warhead would drop it's range and velocity through the floor.

http://www.designation-systems.net/dusrm/m-163.html
That is with an obsolete booster attached. I bet if they used a newer, smaller, more powerful booster, you could keep the stats up.
The Coyote flight vehicle with the short Mk 72 booster (from SM-2 Block IV, etc.) would still be too long for a Mk 41 VLS (5.6m + 1.73m = 7.33m, compared to a maximum length of about 6.5 meters in a Mk 41 canister). And even with that advanced booster, range from a surface launcher would be much less than for air-launch.

FWIW, I remember there was some consideration of adding the requirement to make SSST adaptable as an antiship missile back when the program was getting started. But this was dropped because supposedly a similar requirement had contributed to the cost explosion of the previous SLAT program. Considering that SSST is actually the Navy's fourth try at a supersonic sea-skimming target, dating back to around 1970 (BQM-90, BQM-111, SLAT, and now SSST), the folks in charge decided to avoid adding any requirement that wasn't absolutely necessary. I recall this from trade pubs (maybe Inside the Navy) around 1999-2000; sorry for the lack of firm cites.
 

sferrin

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Demon Lord Razgriz said:
sferrin said:
Because it's nearly 30 feet long more than 31 feet long and adding a warhead would drop it's range and velocity through the floor.

http://www.designation-systems.net/dusrm/m-163.html
That is with an obsolete booster attached. I bet if they used a newer, smaller, more powerful booster, you could keep the stats up.
Fuel is fuel. It hasn't improved THAT much.
 

Sea Skimmer

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60nm for SSST is way too little range anyway, worse then Harpoon and worse then almost every threat missile and even some multiple rocket launchers used as coastal defense. What little they’ve said about requirements and the very name of the project makes one thing clear, they want long range. Enough range to beat the missiles on threat warships, which pretty much means Russia and China and thus a 200-500nm kind of bracket to beat.

I suspect in reality the USN would like and is aiming for a missile with closer to 700-1000nm performance. This isn’t out of reason while retaining a useful warhead size and Mk41 compatibility. Fuel is fuel sure, but air breathing engines of all types have improved a great deal in the last 30 years. Both the concepts mentioned for the project would be air breathing, either turbine or ramjet it appears. Airframes and lightweight reactive metal warheads have also come a long way and knock off hundreds of pounds for Tactical Tomahawk compared to the 1970s version.

A lot depends on how much the missile has to cost too. Something like Tomahawk would perform a lot better if it was permissible to build it all out of titanium or bake the airframe as one hunk of carbon fiber. But we want costs low because its main job is blowing up cheap buildings on land. A PLAN destroyer armed with S-300 missiles is a much higher value target.
 

TomS

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While I can somewhat understand the desire to outrange the threat, the operational history of anti-ship missile engagements doesn't seem to bode well for the concept of a 700-mile missile. Based on the examples we have to date, Harpoon may actually have too much range (I'm pretty sure that there have been zero ASM engagements at ranges longer than 60 nm and probably none at longer than 30 nm). The primary motive for increased range in current generation missiles (e.g., Exocet MM40 Block 3) seems to be to use them as improvised land-attack weapons.

We're talking about a mobile target with high target location error, coupled with relatively high chance of collateral damage. While future improvements in ISR and high-speed missiles may make long-range engagements more feasible, I wouldn't hold out for 700 miles just for anti-ship use.
 

Sea Skimmer

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The operational history of BVR air combat looked like total rubbish until the Gulf War too, and then suddenly the might Sparrow missile gained the considerable majority of kills. The mere shift to solid state electronics vastly increased its effectiveness. Today we expect stealth fighters to fire BVR missiles, and then actually hand them off to another plane to control and are working on even more exotic remote targeting. None of that has happened in combat yet, but no one would dismiss it as unproven.

Anti ship missiles do not have a very broad operational experience, and very little use has ever occurred in the hands of first rate powers or against targets that had credible anti missile defenses. This isn’t reason to rule anything out, especially when it would mean crippling ourselves.

Over the horizon targeting for anti ship missiles was historically plagued by several factors. As far as I can see every single one of them has basically been licked already for other reasons, the only task that remains is placing the technology into a compact missile guidance system, and then integrating that system with other projects like the Navy Global Hawk, P-8 and Tactical Satellite program (projects to integrate TASM targeting were never completed, major reason why the missile died). If I held out for anything I would demand 2000nm range so that USN surface warships can defeat a Chinese invasion forces attacking Taiwan while remaining outside Chinese ASBM range. But I don't think that will fit in a Mk41 unless we use a propfan engine and limit the warhead to about 150-200lb which might not be effective even if delivered with very high precision onto the water line at the base of the funnel.

I am very open to suggestions and discussion as to which part of the OTH targeting problem is still problematic though.
 
S

sublight

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sferrin said:
Because it's nearly 30 feet long more than 31 feet long and adding a warhead would drop it's range and velocity through the floor.

http://www.designation-systems.net/dusrm/m-163.html
How much does this thing weigh? I'm thinking a mach3 hit would do some very spectacular damage without a warhead....
 
S

sublight

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Sea Skimmer said:
The operational history of BVR air combat looked like total rubbish until the Gulf War too, and then suddenly the might Sparrow missile gained the considerable majority of kills. The mere shift to solid state electronics vastly increased its effectiveness. Today we expect stealth fighters to fire BVR missiles, and then actually hand them off to another plane to control and are working on even more exotic remote targeting. None of that has happened in combat yet, but no one would dismiss it as unproven.
I believe there are still less than 10 documented beyond visual range air to air combat kills in the entire history of the United States Armed forces.
 

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sublight said:
I believe there are still less than 10 documented beyond visual range air to air combat kills in the entire history of the United States Armed forces.
Either way it doesn't really matter, since the US has just not faced a credible air opponent since the Korean War. The only time BVR was allowed at all were just a few engagements in Vietnam, and a few more in the first couple days over Iraq. Not many chances to even have a chance. All the rest of the time our own planes were just too numerous. Vietnam was troublesome purely because we refused to bomb the MiG bases or fight the air war in any way which was at all sane. A huge amount of non cooperative target recognition technology has showed up since then. In situations like that in a naval war, well we won’t need dedicated anti ship missiles anyway. HARM followed by laser guided bombs will sink any weak outnumbered warships easily. Those aren’t the concern, Chinese warships around Taiwan close to China's huge forces of land based missiles and planes are. We don’t want a Burke steaming into a 100nm radius of that nest to fight it out.

The main problem with long range anti ship missiles is ensuring they don’t hit merchant traffic on the way to the target. The world has now mandated satellite tracking of all commercial shipping over 300 GRT and that plan is well into implementation. US satellites track those beacons using the Naval Ocean Surveillance System and then also image the ships with radar and optics. We’ve also got the P-8 and naval Global Hawk coming to support this role. That means warships can’t just disappear into the merchant traffic anymore. Even if they switch on a civilian transponder in a spoofing attempt, the fact that ships can only move at 30 knots max means we aren’t going to be fooled easily. They can’t just switch places with another ship 1000nm away.

What is needed is a missile which can adapt its path in flight to avoid known merchant traffic, avoid unexpected traffic and generally navigate in an intelligent manner to a moving aim zone, defined by time of flight and the possible movements of the target, it has to search and identify. That’s something radar can do VERY well now, far better then it could 10 years ago let alone the 1970s when Harpoon was made. TASM used the same radar and guidance. Simply being able to measure the length of the target as missile radars can do now filters out most decoys and ship to ship deception attempts. That’s a real capability now, not something that would have to be new. We’ve also had major advances in ESM, allowing such tricks as using the entire missile airframe or at least a large chunk of it as the antenna. That allows a lot more effective range.

What little has been said about LRASM mentioned a capability to fly high to search a wider area, Russian missiles do this already. They’ll also need some kind of ‘swarming’ AI behavior to gather the searching missiles back together to make a final attack.

I’m not seeing anything that is a serious problem. It would take some time to make the required software work, but the hardware technology for all the required features including long range is here already. Packaging it into a missile doesn't seem too big a deal, a Mk41 cell gives you a 4,000lb missile to work with. It might seem new and different, but this is really just because the west has barely done a thing since the 1980s to actually bring a new anti ship missile into service. Many of the features LRASM would require for my hypothesized but very reasonably expected 1000nm capability are nothing but expansions of features on large Soviet missiles. We just have way more processing capability to make them work better.
 

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Sea Skimmer said:
I am very open to suggestions and discussion as to which part of the OTH targeting problem is still problematic though.
Almsot all of it?

Wide-area ocean surveillance remains a serious challenge -- finding all the ships in a swath of ocean a few hundred miles across is doable most of the time, but figuring out which is which high a high degree of confidence is exceptionally hard. You mentioned AIS as the solution to identifying merchant ships, but this has many shortcomings. For starters, merchant ships in threat areas may turn it off, depending on the nature of the threats (ships passing Somalia routinely -- and legally -- disable AIS, for example). Conversely, it's (trivially) possible to clone a transponder, so that your desired target ship is emitting an AIS signal and thus may register as civilian.

And of course current solutions to wide-area surveillance tend to rely on radar aboard HALE UAVs. I'm not convinced of the survivability of active emitters against advanced SAMs, LPI techniques and LO shaping notwithstanding.
 

Sea Skimmer

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TomS said:
Almsot all of it?

Wide-area ocean surveillance remains a serious challenge -- finding all the ships in a swath of ocean a few hundred miles across is doable most of the time, but figuring out which is which high a high degree of confidence is exceptionally hard. You mentioned AIS as the solution to identifying merchant ships, but this has many shortcomings. For starters, merchant ships in threat areas may turn it off, depending on the nature of the threats (ships passing Somalia routinely -- and legally -- disable AIS, for example). Conversely, it's (trivially) possible to clone a transponder, so that your desired target ship is emitting an AIS signal and thus may register as civilian.
It doesn’t work that easily for the enemy though, not against a modern let alone future sensor suit. AIS corresponds to a specific ship, and the US Navy has been collecting ship radar signatures to go with steadily more advanced radars for a long time now. That’s once of those 1980s TASM concepts that went away for a while and now came back. A known ship means a known length, and radar can measure that with considerable accuracy at long range today, and we’ve barely scratched the surface of what digital radar can really do. So a 600ft Chinese frigate can’t be hiding as a 500ft long freighter or a 700ft tanker. The resolution possible with this kind of imaging can be a fraction of a meter in reality. This is a major component of BMD discrimination too; you need damn high dimensional resolution at much longer ranges to tell a warhead from a chunk of fuel tank. Given long enough dwell time; or moving into a closer range then 300nm you can image a ship in enough detail that a decoy swap even wit the same length of freighter just isn’t really possible.

LRASM is specified as using multiple sensors for target identification. Now if you take a known target radar signature, infrared signature and potentially a LIDAR signature depending on what seekers and propulsion systems are used. IR wont work well on a high supersonic missile, and overlay those and you can tell a merchant from a warship pretty reliably. That way place switching and AIS switching can’t foil targeting after the missiles are in the air. Computers are good enough to do this, I really see no reason to think otherwise when BMD discrimination is so much more demanding today. Long range becomes all the more important since it allows a fuel margin for mistaken attacks on merchants, and loiter time to mass the group of searching missiles back together. Most merchants in any case, will have no reason not to keep AIS active and honest while a major war breaks out.

Onboard missile ESM capability is also specified, big help for when the enemy warship decides it doesn’t feel like waiting to be hit any longer and turns on a radar. This isn’t even touching on all the new types of unmanned underwater vehicles, floating and seabed sensors the USN has been working on quietly for years.

I’m not trying to claim to know the true US Navy true plan, but just that solutions exist, and that with the programming now aiming for a FY2012 flight test someone is clearly serious about solving them. Its very hard to figure out budget figures for LRASM because its getting money from more then one DARPA and Navy account but it seems to have been in the range of 75-100 million total for FY2010. Lots of stuff also says that the missile, or at least one of the two reported concepts is based off HyFly technology. IIRC wasn’t that program aimed at 400-600nm range?

And of course current solutions to wide-area surveillance tend to rely on radar aboard HALE UAVs. I'm not convinced of the survivability of active emitters against advanced SAMs, LPI techniques and LO shaping notwithstanding.
A warship firing such a round would instantly identify itself to US satellites, any SAM with several hundred mile range is going to have a big infrared launch and boost plume just like a tactical ballistic missile. I’d imagine you have the 40N6 in mind right? Its over four thousand pounds, about on par with a SS-21 lighting off. Anyway, such long range SAMs also have the potential to serve as anti ship weapons themselves (modify the active radar seeker and fire it over on a ballistic arc ect..) so that’s yet another reason to want significant more then 250nm out of a new anti ship missile.

Recon does not have to come from any specific platform alone, its going to be a job for a family of systems which have many other purposes. Big UAVs are nice for the broad area coverage, which I might note would still outrange 40N6. The radar horizon from 65,000 feet is over 300nm and I’m very willing to bet something like MP-RTIP can identify a ship at that kind of distance. But a high-low mix is pretty much a given and relatively low end UAVs may be used to help identify shipping in complex situations near the coastline. UAVs can have been built that can cross the Atlantic and yet weigh just 11lb. Of course you’d need to be a lot bigger to carry a camera and a much better command and control system, but the point being long range sensor platforms don’t all have to be huge. Frankly given the value, and limited numbers of large enemy warships, we can well afford to loose even a Predator or Reaper class of drone to get a look at it anyway.

Of course enough space warfighting might deny the US all its warning satellites and most of its long range communication capabilities. That’s why we still have hundreds of nuclear missiles and growing Prompt Global Strike capability as a deterrent to anything up that alley.
 

bobbymike

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Pentagon planners were wary of China’s double-digit military-budget growth rates even before the global economic crisis put the squeeze on America’s own defense investment. Now the Chinese army’s growth continues while America’s flat-lines. That’s got the U.S. military, especially the Navy, scrambling for new ideas.

The most hopeful is an emerging concept for mixing U.S. Navy ships and subs with Air Force planes to form a tightly-knit, super-lethal, ship-killing force meant to counter an increasingly powerful Chinese fleet. The Pentagon calls it “AirSea Battle,” an homage to NATO’s Cold War “AirLand Battle” concept that pioneered tactics for taking out thousands of Soviet tanks with smart weapons. U.S. Secretary of Defense Bob Gates called the classified AirSea Battle concept “encouraging.”

It seems AirSea Battle mostly involves better communications and command procedures for integrating ships and planes into the same task forces. But there’s at least one new piece of hardware: a new, more deadly anti-ship missile. On Wednesday, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency awarded Lockheed Martin a 3-year, $160 million contract to develop the Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile. The goal is for LRASM to give Navy ships “the ability to attack important enemy ships outside the ranges of the enemy’s ability to respond with anti-ship missiles of their own.”

LRASM must fit into the Navy’s existing vertical-launch cells and should rely less on “off-board” targeting — drones, planes, satellites — than current weapons. In other words, the LRASM must have its own, smart sensors. That would allow even isolated or electronically-jammed American ships to sink enemy vessels.

Darpa’s interest in ship-killing missiles represent a major sea change — or a blast from the past. Time was, 20 years ago, the Navy had a bigger arsenal of anti-ship missiles, ranging from the tiny Penguin to the mid-size Harpoon and the huge, long-range Tomahawk. Today the Tomahawk is used strictly for land-attack and only a few ships carry Harpoons.

Meanwhile, other nations have pulled ahead in ship-sinking technology. Russia, India and Japan all have new ASMs. Indeed, those weapons — particularly the Japanese XASM-3, pictured — might offer a preview of LRASM’s eventual design elements. Look for a stealthy shape, supersonic speed and several overlapping sensor types. And don’t expect it to be cheap.
 

bobbymike

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LRASMs Fast And Slow

Posted by Bill Sweetman at 12/6/2010 10:18 AM CST
DARPA has posted an update on the Long Range Anti Ship Missile (LRASM) program, for which the first of two parallel demonstration contracts was awarded in November.

The update clarifies some aspects of LRASM. Specifically, we now know that the program involves two entirely different airframe/propulsion approaches, both developed by different divisions of Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. Both use a common seeker from BAE Systems in Nashua, New Hampshire, the former Lockheed Sanders. The project is jointly sponsored by DARPA and the Office of Naval Research.

One set of demonstrations will focus on air launch and the other on surface-ship launch, but both teams will define both air- and ship-launched versions - confirming that the plan would be to take only one weapon into full-scale development.

LRASM-A is being developed by the Strike Weapons unit in Orlando and is based on the Joint Air to Surface Standoff Missile Extended Range (JASSM-ER) airframe, and its demonstration program will culminate in two air-launched demonstrations. The formal contract award does not appear to have been published yet.

LRASM-B is run by Tactical Missiles (legacy Vought) out of Grand Prairie, Texas, and uses "prior ramjet development activities" - which I suspect means hardware developed under a black or long-forgotten program - to provide a supersonic-cruise missile with some stealth qualities. The ramjet technology is out of Pratt & Whitney at West Palm Beach. LRASM-B will wind up with four boosted launches out of Vertical Launch System (VLS) tubes. The program is due to be complete by April 2013.

BAE Systems' role suggests that the core of the sensor suite is based on passive radio-frequency technology. However, previous discussion of LRASM has made it clear that it will use multiple sensors in order to autonomously select warship targets even in a cluttered sea lane, while operating in a GPS-denied environment
 

Sea Skimmer

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Considering JASSM uses downgraded stealth compared to TASSM, and TASSM was what we thought was required to defeated 1990s air defenses, I have a hard time seeing how a JASSM based weapon can be seen as credible for 2010+. I guess its just the cheap backup weapon in case the ramjet weapon ends up having a pricetag of an an F-5E
 

TomS

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Or maybe TASSM was over-speced?
 

Sea Skimmer

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That is possible, but it was being designed before anything but the B-2 bomber even used AESA radar. AESA isn’t anti stealth magic but usually the shift to solid state gives you a several dB increase in sensitivity out of hand. Also an anti ship missile has to fly directly at the threat radar, which is usually not the case for a land attack weapon that can use an evasive flight path.

It’s also possible they intend to upgrade the coatings used on JASSM to become more stealthy and more expensive, or that they intend to use a Klub style rocket assisted detaching warhead, and not rely on stealth for terminal attack. If stealth was only required for long range survivability while the missile is searching for the target, but not yet attacking it then life would be easier. IIRC the JASSM-ER is using a rocket boosted mach 2.0 warhead for hard target penetration so this might be an option and somewhat ‘off the shelf’.
 

seruriermarshal

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Lockheed Martin Receives $218 Million for Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) Demonstrations
DALLAS, TX, January 20th, 2011 -- Lockheed Martin [NYSE:LMT] has received two contracts totaling $218 million for the Demonstration Phase of the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency’s (DARPA) Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) program.

The program encompasses the rapid development and demonstration of two distinct variants of the LRASM missile: LRASM-A is a stealthy air-launched variation and LRASM-B is a high-speed ship-launched missile.

Lockheed Martin’s LRASM-A team received a $60.3 million cost plus fixed fee contract to execute two air-launched demonstrations, leveraging its Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile – Extended Range (JASSM-ER) experience and demonstrating Navy and Air Force tactical aircraft employment.

Lockheed Martin’s LRASM-B team received a $157.7 million cost plus fixed-fee contract to complete four Vertical Launch System (VLS) demonstrations, proving applicability to Navy surface combatants. Both LRASM-A and LRASM-B designs plan to support air-launch and VLS-launch configurations.

“Both of our LRASM solutions will deliver extraordinary range, willful penetration of ship self defense systems and precise lethality in denied combat environments,” said Rick Edwards, vice president of Tactical Missiles and Combat Maneuver Systems at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “The maturity of these weapons and technologies allows near term transition to Navy magazines at an affordable price. These are low risk, practical options with the Navy initiating studies of anti-surface warfare capability.”

The joint DARPA/U.S. Navy LRASM program was initiated in 2009 to deliver a new generation of highly capable anti-ship weapons. Current anti-ship weapons possess limited range and lethality. As at-sea warfare advances, a new generation of standoff anti-ship weapons systems are needed.

During Phase 1 of the program, preliminary designs of the LRASM-A and LRASM-B variants were successfully completed by Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. LRASM-A leverages the state-of-the-art JASSM-ER airframe, and adds additional sensors and subsystems to achieve a stealthy and survivable subsonic cruise missile. LRASM-B leverages prior ramjet development activities and a suite of supporting sensors and avionics to achieve a supersonic cruise missile with balanced speed and stealth for robust performance.

Phase 2 of the program will continue the development of both missiles and culminate in flight demonstrations of tactically relevant prototypes of both missiles, including a common sensor system from BAE Systems.

“Lockheed Martin is proud to offer our technology for Navy solutions,” said Glenn Kuller, director of Tactical Missiles Advanced Programs at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “These LRASM contracts will demonstrate two mature tactical missiles for new generation anti-surface warfare weapons capability; one low and stealthy, the other high and fast with moderate stealth.”

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 133,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation’s 2009 sales from continuing operations were $44.0 billion.

http://www.lockheedmartin.com/news/press_releases/2011/MFC_012011_LM_Receives218_Million.html
 

TAGBOARD

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Bill Sweetman posted an article last December about the latest DARPA update on the program:

LRASMs Fast and Slow

He speculates in the article:

LRASM-B is run by Tactical Missiles (legacy Vought) out of Grand Prairie, Texas, and uses "prior ramjet development activities" - which I suspect means hardware developed under a black or long-forgotten program - to provide a supersonic-cruise missile with some stealth qualities. The ramjet technology is out of Pratt & Whitney at West Palm Beach. LRASM-B will wind up with four boosted launches out of Vertical Launch System (VLS) tubes.
I'd like to add that Lockheed Skunk Works is working on the VLS deployed RATTLRS missile and would imagine the company is leveraging VLS packaging, rocket booster, inlet and deploying lifting surface technologies from this program.

Lockheed Martin RATTLRS

Additionally, take into consideration the "long-forgotten (ramjet) program" may be a Martin Marietta (now Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control Orlando) project, from the 1970s, as another potential contributor for the LRASM-B:

Martin Marietta ASALM
 

seruriermarshal

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ATK, DARPA and ONR Achieve First-ever Flight Test of a Scramjet Powered by Liquid Hydrocarbon Fuel
ATK-designed Scramjet Flies in Excess of Mach 5 in a Missile Configuration *ATK Again Demonstrates its Global Leadership in Hypersonic Flight
Dec 15, 2005

Minneapolis, December 15, 2005 – Alliant Techsystems (NYSE: ATK), the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the Office of Naval Research (ONR) successfully ground-launched and flew a hypersonic scramjet-powered vehicle from the Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops Island, Va. in a pre-dawn launch on Saturday, Dec. 10. This was the first-ever free flight of a scramjet-powered vehicle using conventional liquid hydrocarbon jet fuel. The launch and flight test were part of the Freeflight Atmospheric Scramjet Test Technique (FASTT) program sponsored by DARPA and ONR.

As the system integrator, ATK designed and built the FASTT vehicle. This was the first time the company had complete design authority over the hypersonic scramjet propulsion system and the airframe. In addition, ATK served as the mission manager for both the launch and the flight of the test vehicle, including development of test plans and coordination of all design and mission readiness reviews.

ATK previously built the hydrogen-fueled X-43A Scramjet, the world-record holder for powered flight which obtained a top speed of nearly Mach 10 in a November 2004 flight test. “The successful FASTT flight test and ATK’s record-setting X-43A flight tests clearly position ATK as a world-leader in the development and test of hypersonic propulsion systems and airframes,�? said Blake Larson, President ATK Advanced Propulsion and Space Systems. “One goal of ATK’s hypersonic flight program is to develop advanced hypersonic weaponry and this flight test is a significant step in that direction,�? said Larson

The FASTT vehicle was approximately 106 inches long and 11 inches in diameter. It integrated a Scramjet engine into a missile configuration. After separating from its booster rocket at more than 60,000 feet, the Scramjet engine ignited and propelled the vehicle at approximately 5,300 feet per second – or Mach 5.5. Using JP-10 fuel, the Scramjet flew for at least 15 seconds while critical engineering data was captured via on-board sensors and tracking radars. The vehicle continued in stable flight mode until it splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean.

The ground-launched flight test demonstrated a viable and cost-effective flight-test method for future hypersonic Scramjet initiatives.

In addition to the FASTT program, ATK’s Boost-to-Cruise initiative is developing hypersonic missile technologies capable of sustained flight at Mach 5 and delivering payloads on target more than 600 nautical miles down range.

ATK is a $3.1 billion advanced weapon and space systems company employing approximately 15,000 people in 23 states. News and information can be found on the Internet at www.atk.com.

Certain information discussed in this press release constitutes forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Although ATK believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, it can give no assurance that its expectations will be achieved. Forward-looking information is subject to certain risks, trends and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Among those factors are: the challenges of developing hypersonic flight aircraft, changes in governmental spending, budgetary policies and product sourcing strategies; the company's competitive environment; the terms and timing of awards and contracts; and economic conditions. ATK undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements. For further information on factors that could impact ATK, and statements contained herein, reference should be made to ATK’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, and ATK’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2005.

http://atk.mediaroom.com/index.php?s=118&item=408
 

sferrin

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You do realize that article is 5 years old right? ???
 

Trident

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Nice find! Things that make you go hmmm:

ASALM + ATACMS = LRASM-B ?
 

sferrin

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Trident said:
Nice find! Things that make you go hmmm:

ASALM + ATACMS = LRASM-B ?
They already did a VLS ASALM concept though and it was relatively short-ranged. See post #1 here:

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,466.0/highlight,asalm.html

even air-launched with a nuke (lighter weight) warhead range was only 200-300 miles. Maybe this one is much larger than ASALM? ??? Or turbine-powered?
 

bobbymike

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Doesn't sound good:

DARPA Halts High-Speed, Long-Range Weapon Development Program

The Pentagon is terminating a program designed to develop a high-speed, long-range strike weapon that could be launched from the sea or the air and strike a target in less than 30 minutes -- despite recently lauding the capability as "game changing."
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
So really disappointing unless it went black. There has been report after report that the US needs long range high speed strike weapons for the "anti-access" environment the US will face in future warfare scenarios.
 

sferrin

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Wow that's gotta be a record. The ink was barely dry on the announcement. This is why I am so disparaging of pretty much any supersonic/hypersonic vehicles (other than fighters, SAMs, and AAMs) in the US. Bunch of gutless wonders we have become. :mad:


edit: I thought it was LRASM/B that got canned not Arc Light. In the words of Cartman, "God D--N it!" :mad:
 

Demon Lord Razgriz

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Quite possibly the most needed missile program the USN had, and it got the ax... It better have gone black... :mad:
 

seruriermarshal

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bobbymike said:
Doesn't sound good:

DARPA Halts High-Speed, Long-Range Weapon Development Program

The Pentagon is terminating a program designed to develop a high-speed, long-range strike weapon that could be launched from the sea or the air and strike a target in less than 30 minutes -- despite recently lauding the capability as "game changing."
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
So really disappointing unless it went black. There has been report after report that the US needs long range high speed strike weapons for the "anti-access" environment the US will face in future warfare scenarios.
It isn't LRASM-B but ArcLight :

But DARPA’s fiscal year 2012 budget justification materials state that the ArcLight program is being terminated.

http://www.fabioghioni.net/blog/2011/04/11/darpa-halts-high-speed-long-range-weapon-development-program/

ArcLight from SM-3 Block II

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story_channel.jsp?channel=defense&id=news/asd/2010/02/04/02.xml
 

sferrin

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Looks like LRASM-B is basically gonna be ASALM. From this week's AvWeek:

"The high-speed, high-altitude LRASM-B uses a Pratt & Whitney integrated rocket/ramjet propulsion system originally developed in the 1970s for the supersonic Advanced Strategic Air-Launched Missile (Asalm)."

This is just pathetic. Our expertise (such as it is) is so behind the times that they have to reach 40 years into the past to find something that actually works? And I suspect the "L" in "LRASM" will leave a lot to be desired as well. ASALM was to have a 300 mile range with the relatively light weight W80. Go to a conventional warhead and range will drop like a rock . I hope ASALM is merely a reference and that this thing will be scaled up and improved or they may as well not even bother. What next, they gonna blow the dust off Talos?

The money quote:

"Jassm-ER was selected as the basis for the “super-stealthy” LRASM-A because it is “a mature missile with mature propulsion,” says Kuller. The Asalm-based propulsion system for the LRASM-B “is as mature as we could get for a high-speed missile,” he says." A 40 year old design, "yep, that's the best we can do". This is what happens when you let your industrial base go to hell.

"Plans call for two air launches of the LRASM-A from a U.S. Air Force bomber and four surface launches of the LRASM-B from the Mk29 vertical-launch canister using the Aerojet Mk72 booster from the Standard SM-3 surface-to-air missile. For the demonstration flights, LRASM-B will use integrated rocket/ramjets originally built for the Asalm-derived Supersonic Low-Altitude Target (SLAT) and stored at China Lake, Calif., since the program was cancelled in 1991, Kuller says."

I guess they're gonna be screwed after they've used those up and they have to try to make more. (That's when it'll get cancelled due to cost escalations and "technical challenges".)
 

Moose

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Its a limited test program on a shoestring budget, are you really surprised they raided the cupboard for existing hardware?
 
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