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Raytheon air-to-air weaponry (SACM & MSDM)

sferrin

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Raytheon Co., Tucson, Arizona, has been awarded a not-to-exceed $14,000,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity cost contract for research and development in support of increased capabilities for next-generation, air-launched, tactical missiles.

Contractor will work to increase the number of missiles carried on a single sortie, increase the effectiveness of each missile, and enhance the platform survivability against all threats in an anti-access, area denial (A2AD) environment.

Two research concepts to fulfill these needs are the Small Advanced Capability Missile (SACM) and Miniature Self-Defense Munition (MSDM).

http://www.defense-aerospace.com/articles-view/release/3/170551/raytheon-to-research-next_gen-air_launched-tactical-missiles.html
 

bring_it_on

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Hopefully something similar would follow to Lockheed and/or Boeing (even though this was a competition).
 

sferrin

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bring_it_on said:
Hopefully something similar would follow to Lockheed and/or Boeing (even though this was a competition).
Still hope to see CUDA some day. :(
 

red admiral

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Unsuprisingly it turns out that small AAMs don't go as far as big ones. If you've been shot down by AA-12 or PL-12 before you've got into range, the number of missiles you've got dosesn't matter.
 

sferrin

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red admiral said:
Unsuprisingly it turns out that small AAMs don't go as far as big ones.
SM-6 goes WAY further than Nike Hercules. AIM-120 has much more range than Genie.

red admiral said:
If you've been shot down by AA-12 or PL-12 before you've got into range, the number of missiles you've got dosesn't matter.
Did you read the article?
 

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Put the same technology into an AMRAAM sized body and you'll have a muvh better weapon
 

bring_it_on

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With the looming detection, tracking and ID challenge ahead in a stealth on stealth engagement it is wise to explore the possibility of going towards greater magazine depth vs even longer range. The CUDA solution was very interesting and it could have met both the SACM and long range missile requirement through a two stage system.
 

red admiral

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bring_it_on said:
With the looming detection, tracking and ID challenge ahead in a stealth on stealth engagement it is wise to explore the possibility of going towards greater magazine depth vs even longer range.
The effective ranges are rather shorter, which penalises the smaller missiles more.

I'd rather have a laser for short range.
 

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red admiral said:
bring_it_on said:
With the looming detection, tracking and ID challenge ahead in a stealth on stealth engagement it is wise to explore the possibility of going towards greater magazine depth vs even longer range.
The effective ranges are rather shorter, which penalises the smaller missiles more.
How? Shorter sensor ranges mean that you don't need to have as long a reach.

There is also the possibility that having smaller missiles can allow you to carry large missiles without decreasing the total magazine size. So, you could do something like replace three AMRAAMS with a 700kg high-diameter air-to-air missile (with excessive range, a dual IR and annular radar seeker) and two SACM/CUDA. You would still have three engagements.

We aren't talking about future platforms necessarily carrying only short-medium ranged missiles.
 

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red admiral said:
bring_it_on said:
With the looming detection, tracking and ID challenge ahead in a stealth on stealth engagement it is wise to explore the possibility of going towards greater magazine depth vs even longer range.
The effective ranges are rather shorter, which penalises the smaller missiles more.

I'd rather have a laser for short range.
Even lockheed martin, that proposed the CUDA paired that up at its public display with a conventional AMRAAM sized H2K weapon, that would have been its longer or lets say conventional ranged cousin. There was even talk about it being a 2-stage system with a HALFRAAM as the CUDA. We also don't know what these various H2K proposals trade in terms of warhead and fuel. A long range weapon will only provide benefit if you can target something from long range. If you are limited by your ability to detect, track or ID as opposed to kinematic range of your weapon than carrying extra kinematic range means very little by itself. If a stealth on stealth engagement halves your effective targeting range, than carrying more on your interceptor can be traded for magazine depth on at least a part of your load out.
 

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SpudmanWP said:
Spec wise, SACM = CUDA

Going by this picture, it's nice to see that someone in the Pentagon might finally realise and have become realistic to the fact that there much flaunted and advertised 'force-multiplying' capability of its AWAC's assets is/will be one of the most targeted asset by an adversary like China/Russia in any real shooting war!

But would they seriously use their so-called precious defence budget dollars to give such assets like AWACS an self-defence capability, as opposed to deviating money away from their precious F-35 program? (sorry about the sarcasm :-[)

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marauder2048

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red admiral said:
Unsuprisingly it turns out that small AAMs don't go as far as big ones. If you've been shot down by AA-12 or PL-12 before you've got into range, the number of missiles you've got dosesn't matter.

I don't see why SACM would be much shorter range than AMRAAM. While the SRM is smaller (diameter and length) it has a missile body with less wetted area, less base drag and less wave drag in a total
package that weighs about a third as much as AMRAAM.
 

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marauder2048 said:
I don't see why SACM would be much shorter range than AMRAAM.
The CUDA also benefits from having a much greater percentage of body mass dedicated to the motor. There is no need for a warhead or proximity fuse.
 

marauder2048

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Pioneer said:
SpudmanWP said:
Spec wise, SACM = CUDA
Going by this picture, it's nice to see that someone in the Pentagon might finally realise and have become realistic to the fact that there much flaunted and advertised 'force-multiplying' capability of its AWAC's assets is/will be one of the most targeted asset by an adversary like China/Russia in any real shooting war!

But would they seriously use their so-called precious defence budget dollars to give such assets like AWACS an self-defence capability, as opposed to deviating money away from their precious F-35 program? (sorry about the sarcasm :-[)

Regards
Pioneer
I think it's just as much about protecting the penetrating bomber fleet since it has to operate unescorted and won't necessarily be able to carry towed decoy.
 

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From Aviation Week

Smaller Missiles for More Lethal Stealth

Advances in U.S. stealth may have an Achilles’ heel—the limits placed on weapons capacity by internal carriage to minimize radar cross-section. Ultimately, smaller air-launched weapons must be developed to make better use of the internal bays in the F-22 and F-35.

Raytheon has received an Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) contract to study two concepts to increase the number of weapons that can be carried: the air-to-air Small Advanced Capability Missile (SACM) and Miniature Self-Defense Munition (MSDM).

Described as a miniaturized weapon enabling close-in self-defense and penetration into a contested anti-access/area-denial environment, the MSDM is intended to be carried with little to no impact on the host platform’s payload capability.



SACM would be half the size of the AIM-120 Amraam air-to-air missile. Credit: Air Force Research Laboratory

In 2015, AFRL awarded both Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman small contracts for conceptual design of an affordable air-to-air seeker front-end for the self-defense munition. Cost is a primary driver for the MSDM seeker, says AFRL.

The miniature munition would be dispensed in a way similar to how chaff and flares are used today, to defend an aircraft against missile attack. SACM, meanwhile, would complement the AIM-120 Amraam air-to-air missiles now carried internally—up to six in the F-22 and two in the F-35 (four eventually).

Lockheed in 2013 unveiled its concept for a radar-guided air-to-air missile about half the length of the beyond-visual-range AIM-120. A model of the missile—known as CUDA—showed six of the hit-to-kill weapons installed in tandem pairs inside each of the internal bays of the F-35A, for a total of 12 missiles.

The internally funded CUDA program is “active and ongoing,” says Lockheed, adding that “the company does intend to respond to future [requests for proposals].” Awarding the SACM/MSDM research contract, potentially worth $14 million, to Raytheon, the Air Force notes that four offers were received.
 

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Raytheon selected to deliver next-generation tactical air-to-air missile solutions



Raytheon Missile Systems has secured a contract to research and advance the development of 'increased capabilities' for the next generation of US Air Force air-to-air tactical missiles.

A USD14 million research and development (R&D) contract, awarded by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Munitions Directorate on 20 January, requires Raytheon to increase the number of missiles carried on [an air platform in] a single sortie, increase the effectiveness of each missile, and enhance the platform's survivability against all threats in an anti-access, area denial (A2AD) environment.

Specifically, the contract provides for two lines of R&D work to deliver solutions for a Small Advanced Capability Missile (SACM) and a Miniature Self-Defense Munition (MSDM).

The SACM concept is intended to deliver an affordable, highly lethal, small size and weight air-to-air munition, enabling a "high air-to-air load out", for air dominance and increased sortie effectiveness. Envisioned to complement the radar-guided AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) in the weapons load out on US fifth-generation air platforms such as the F-35 Lightning II and F-22 Raptor, SACM is intended as an air-to-air weapons enhancement to counter fourth-/fifth-generation aircraft threats and cruise missiles. AFRL requirements for SACM include a flexible hyper-agile airframe and synergistic control capabilities, high-impulse propulsion, an affordable wide field-of-view seeker, anti-jam guidance, integrated fuze and "aim-able kinetic and non-kinetic effects", to deliver kinematic advantage and enhanced lethality.

SACM is being touted as a potential high-load out alternative for Raytheon's AIM-9X Sidewinder infrared-tracking short-range air-to-air missile for US fifth-generation aircraft. The F-35 is designed to carry two AIM-9X missiles externally and four AIM-120s in its internal weapons bay.

In the interim, on 12 January an F-35 from the US Air Force's (USAF's) 461st Flight Test Squadron launched an AIM-9X for the first time over the Pacific Sea Test Range, Point Mugu, California. According to a statement from USAF's Edwards Air Force Base, the missile shot, launched at 6,000 ft from Flight Sciences aircraft AF-1 of the Joint Strike Fighter Integrated Test Force, "paves the way for the F-35 to utilise the weapon's high off-boresight and targeting capabilities, increasing lethality in the visual arena". Integration of AIM-9X on the F-35 is anticipated in the Block 3F upgrade in the 2017 time frame.

The MSDM, according to the contract notice, "will support miniaturised weapon capabilities for air superiority by enabling close-in platform self-defence and penetration into contested A2AD environments with little to no impact to payload capacity". This essentially provides for a survivability enhancement concept for the platforms such as the F-35 and F-22 - stealth characteristics notwithstanding - which will deliver an enhanced kinetic countermeasure capability against incoming missile threats, replacing/or enhancing conventional non-kinetic countermeasures such as chaff, flares, and directional infrared countermeasures (DIRCM) with miniaturised munitions released from the platform's weapons bay.

The AFRL has already made a number of awards to progress the MSDM programme. In July 2015 Lockheed Martin Missiles & Fire Control was awarded USD220,944 for an MSDM concept study and in the same month Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control was awarded USD143,470 and Northrop Grumman Guidance and Electronics USD162,766 for an MSDM Seeker Conceptual Design - with the latter objective to develop a conceptual design of an "affordable air-to-air seeker front end (optics/algorithms) for the aircraft self-defence role".

Specific detail of both SACM and MSDM requirements - including required range, weight, engagement envelope and other missile characteristics - and of Raytheon's proposed concept solution has not been made publicly available. IHS Jane's approached Raytheon and the AFRL Munitions Directorate but both parties declined to comment.

The SACM/MSDM contract announcement noted that five contractors competed for the contract. Of these, Lockheed Martin, whose platforms these new tactical missiles will equip, had, mainly with internal research and development (IRAD) funding, made the most discernable progress correlating to both requirements.

CUDA, a miniature radar-guided multirole hit-to-kill missile, designed to increase the air-to-air weapons load out on platforms such as the F-35 and F-22, corresponds directly to the SACM programme. KICM, a miniature hit-to-kill interceptor that leverages the millimetric wave sensor technology used in the PAC-3 SME, was designed as an MSDM solution. Again, specific details of both Lockheed Martin solutions - CUDA and KICM - have not been made public, and the status and/or future of both IRAD-funded remains unclear. A Lockheed Martin spokesperson told IHS Jane's that, "Both CUDA and KICM are alive and well. We are looking forward to responding to future RfPs [requests for proposals]."

Raytheon is expected to complete work on both the SACM and MSDM solutions by 19 January 2021.

COMMENT

New missile technologies are evolving to deliver increasingly compact electronics, guidance packages, control mechanisms, and warhead solutions. The result is smaller and lighter missiles, but with a potential trade-off in speed/range. In the case of SACM, for example, a specific replacement of AIM-9X could potentially impact the optimisation of the aircraft's weapons engagement parameters, and so there might still be a requirement for a faster medium-range air-to-air missile as part of the future US fifth-gen aircraft weapons load out.
Make a New Note
 

sferrin

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Interesting. Thanks. Re. miniaturization, I wonder how a 2-stage CUDA, with an overall length the same as AIM-120/Meteor, would compare to those.
 

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Raytheon details AIM-9X Block II+ missile

Raytheon Missile Systems (RMS) has disclosed details of the planned evolutionary upgrade of its AIM-9X Sidewinder Block II variant short-range infrared guided air-to-air missile: the AIM-9X Block II+.

In February 2016, the US Department of Defense (DoD) fiscal year (FY) President's Budget Submission (PB17) documents noted that for "FY 2017, the programme will continue to produce the AIM-9X Block II All Up Round [AUR] and the AIM-9X Block II Captive Air Training Missile [CATM]. To meet survivability requirements inherent to the fifth generation aircraft platform programmes, the Department of the Navy will introduce a third variant of the [AIM-9X Block II] missile labelled AIM-9X Block II Plus (Block II+).

AIM-9X is a joint US Navy (USN) and US Air Force programme, led by the USN. In June 2011, the DoD's Milestone Decision Authority (MDA) established the AIM-9X Block II missile programme with approval for Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP). The Acquisition Program Baseline for AIM-9X Block II was signed in December 2011, and the Block I programme was terminated. Block II completed operational test and evaluation in early 2015, with the navy declaring an Initial Operational Capability at the end of March 2015; approval to transition into Full Rate Production (FRP) was signed off by the DoD's Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition (ASN[RDA]) in August 2015.

The Block II missile incorporates a newly designed onboard processor, a new battery, an electronic ignition safe/arm device, and the new DSU-41/B Active Optical Target Detector (AOTD) fuze/datalink assembly (replacing the DSU-37/B laser proximity fuze in the Block I). A one-way datalink (aircraft to weapon) - the same as that employed on the AIM-120D AMRAAM - provides for enhanced range, and improved effectiveness throughout the engagement zone. An associated missile software upgrade - Operational Flight Software (OFS) 9.3 standard - introduces additional functionality for trajectory management (for improved range), datalinking with the launch aircraft, improved lock-on-after-launch, target re-acquisition and improved fuzing.

In January 2016, the US Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) awarded Raytheon Missile Systems a USD8.3 million contract modification for the procurement and installation of hardware required to update five prototype Block II+ Captive Test Missiles (CTMs) into a production representative hardware configuration. The contract also provided for the procurement of 40 Propulsion Steering Section hardware sets required to convert AIM-9X Block II CTMs into AIM-9X Block II+ CTMs and AIM-9X Block II Special Air Test Missiles (NATMs) into AIM-9X Block II+ NATMs

Mark Justus, AIM-9X programme director at RMS told IHS Jane's that the Block II+ initiative comprises "minor hardware modifications to the external missile body which improve aerodynamics and [launch] platform survivability".

Justus said that for the Block II+, the missile's five main components - the guidance unit, AOTD, warhead, rocket motor, control actuator system, and internal circuitry - remain the same as Block II. "Software versions for AIM-9X are driven by the main processor unit [MPU]. Block II and II+ use the same MPU with identical software versions and associated capability," Justus added.

Justus said that Block II+ is interchangeable with a Block II missile "at any time and on any platform. As with Block II, the Block II+ will remain backward compatible with a Block I AIM-9X. Visually, the differences between a Block II and II+ are small, and difficult to discern, and the mass properties are identical."

PB17 notes that "in FY 2017 the [Block II+] missile will incorporate the obsolescence redesign of the control actuator system battery. Beginning in FY 2019, the missile will incorporate tech refresh of critical obsolete components required to ensure producability. Specific hardware updates will include the inertial measurement unit, and the dome and the guidance processor. The guidance unit is the critical component to ensure continued production of the missile system and avoid production gaps."

PB17 continues, "Unlike the PB16 submission which assumed a full cut-in of Block II+ production in FY 2017, this budget procures both the Block II and Block II+ variants as a cost savings measure in FY 2017 and beyond. While the Block II+ is critical to mission success in certain mission areas, the balance of the AIM-9X inventory will be produced as regular Block II missiles to meet Naval Munitions Requirement Process [NMRP] demands."

"The production line is currently only building Block II missiles. We expect to fold in Block II+ production as part of next year's [FY 2017/Lot 17] contract," Justus noted.

The Block II+ improvement effectively replaces, at least for the foreseeable future, the proposed AIM-9X Block III development, which was cancelled in PB16.

Scheduled to have become operational in 2022, the AIM-9X Block III concept provided for 60% greater range - driven by the proliferation of advanced digital radio frequency memory jammers that a number of potential adversaries are adding to their fighter fleets.

The plan was to retain the Block II guidance unit and fuze components in keeping with Raytheon's evolutionary approach to missile improvements, Justus noted. "The Block III effort was focused on back-end improvements - enhancing the kinematic range of the missile with an improved rocket motor as well as folding in the US government requirement for an insensitive munition (IM) certification, while maintaining the original mass properties specification to avoid unnecessary flight testing for carriage and safe separation certifications.

While AIM-9X Block III was cancelled, funding for several of the Block III planned improvements, including increased lethality, enhanced infrared countermeasures, and improved IM performance, has been moved to the AIM-9X Block II programme, as part of the System Improvement Program III (SIP III). A USD312 million contract for this effort was awarded in September 2015.
 

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From early 2015 in support of the Miniature Self-Defense Munition



Air Force approaches industry for affordable munition seeker front-end for air-defense weapon


EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla., 12 Feb. 2015. U.S. Air Force airborne weapons experts are reaching out to industry for help in developing an affordable guidance system for a future air-to-air munition designed for aircraft self-defense.
Officials of the Air Force Research Laboratory's Munitions Directorate at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., released a solicitation last week (BAA-RWK-2014-0001_CALL_003) for the Miniature Self Defense Munition (MSDM) Seeker Conceptual Design project.

The MSDM seeker initiative seeks to develop a conceptual design for the optics and algorithms of an affordable seeker front end for an air-to-air weapon for aircraft self-defense. The winning contractors will analyze seeker subcomponents with engineering and simulation, Air Force researchers say.The program will involve aerodynamics, propulsion, warhead, and the seeker front end. Cost is a primary driver. Air Force researchers say they plan to award two separate six-month contracts sometime next April.Winning contractors will define system and subsystem requirements, explore design trades between subsystems and critical components, identify design risks, as well as model the launch aircraft, the miniature self-defense munition, and two threats.
Researchers will use the conceptual design and modeling results to decided if they will move forward with a follow-on effort. International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and Public Law 98-94 export control guidelines will apply to this effort.

Companies interested should send proposals by post or by courier no later than 23 March 2015 to the Air Force's Shawn Goodrich, the MSDM seeker program manager, at AFRL/RWWS, 101 W. Eglin Blvd., Eglin AFB, Fla. 32542.
 

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bring_it_on

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Interesting recent patent from Raytheon published last year -


ADAPTIVE ELECTRONICALLY STEERABLE
ARRAY (AESA)SYSTEM FOR INTERCEPTOR RF TARGET ENGAGEMENT AND COMMUNICATIONS


* Please feel free to move it to a different threat if one is more appropriate
 

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FighterJock

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Interesting find bring_it_on, is the missile seeker patent part of a Sidewinder replacement program or something else?
 

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marauder2048 said:
From the Blackhurst AFRL presentation at SET 2017
Do you have the rest of the report this was attached to? Thanks
 

sferrin

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I hope that second picture means LM hasn't given up on CUDA. That would appear to be just what is needed. (And maybe a 2-stage variant, the same OA length as AIM-120, for long range shots.)
 

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hmm still tail control ? I thought they will move to canard control to maximize room for rocket motor, like Python.
 

bring_it_on

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sferrin said:
I hope that second picture means LM hasn't given up on CUDA. That would appear to be just what is needed. (And maybe a 2-stage variant, the same OA length as AIM-120, for long range shots.)
They haven't. They have publicly spoken about it being an ongoing internal project. From earlier this year -

CUDA is at an earlier stage of development, but it is coming along "really well", Cahill noted. "It is defined, modelled, and we are now working hard on the prototype airframes and on the seeker concepts," he said. As the threats become more complex, Cahill added, having highly manoeuvrable hit-to-kill systems in a smaller profile will prove particularly valuable, especially at close range.

"All of our hit-to-kill developments leverage the basic PAC-3 technology and capability - that combination of seeker technology, advanced attitude control systems, and robust airframe that can turn on a dime and follow a rapidly manoeuvering target - and optimise that combination in a smaller profile," Cahill explained. "With CUDA, you're talking about a PAC-3 capability with a front-end sensor the size of a coffee cup; with MHTK it's even smaller. So we're essentially taking the PAC-3 capability and miniaturising it across all of this range of interceptors."
 

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""With CUDA, you're talking about a PAC-3 capability with a front-end sensor the size of a coffee cup; with MHTK it's even smaller. So we're essentially taking the PAC-3 capability and miniaturising it across all of this range of interceptors."

Awesome.
 

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Do you have the full presentation for those two slides?
 

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Source: Air Force Research Laboratory

The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) held a classified “industry day” at Eglin AFB in Florida on June 19 for an “upcoming Miniature Self-Defense Munition (MSDM) competitive effort,” according to a May 23 meeting notice.

- Industry day this June continues MSDM development
- Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon are on contract

The Strategic Planning and Integration Division of the AFRL’s Munitions Directorate used the half-day meeting to brief about 120 industry representatives on the scope of work for “continued development of the MSDM,” an acronym pronounced as “Miz-dem.”

The closed-door event suggests the air-launched, defensive interceptor program is moving closer to reality. In 2015, the last time U.S. Air Force officials talked about the program openly, the AFRL forecast the MSDM would enter service in fiscal 2023.

The current schedule for the program has not been disclosed, but a series of active contract awards with four companies suggests it continues to make progress.

The AFRL first awarded concept studies for the MSDM in 2015, then followed up a year later with multiple concept refinement contracts. Lockheed Martin and Raytheon are under contract for missile development work that includes the MSDM through early 2021. Northrop Grumman also has a contract award that extends through late 2020 for seeker and technology maturation of the MSDM.

 

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Source: Air Force Research Laboratory

The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) held a classified “industry day” at Eglin AFB in Florida on June 19 for an “upcoming Miniature Self-Defense Munition (MSDM) competitive effort,” according to a May 23 meeting notice.

- Industry day this June continues MSDM development
- Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon are on contract

The Strategic Planning and Integration Division of the AFRL’s Munitions Directorate used the half-day meeting to brief about 120 industry representatives on the scope of work for “continued development of the MSDM,” an acronym pronounced as “Miz-dem.”

The closed-door event suggests the air-launched, defensive interceptor program is moving closer to reality. In 2015, the last time U.S. Air Force officials talked about the program openly, the AFRL forecast the MSDM would enter service in fiscal 2023.

The current schedule for the program has not been disclosed, but a series of active contract awards with four companies suggests it continues to make progress.

The AFRL first awarded concept studies for the MSDM in 2015, then followed up a year later with multiple concept refinement contracts. Lockheed Martin and Raytheon are under contract for missile development work that includes the MSDM through early 2021. Northrop Grumman also has a contract award that extends through late 2020 for seeker and technology maturation of the MSDM.

MSDN iss so tiny, I wonder what is the range of such weapon
 
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