USAF to be armed with mini-missiles that will allow them access to impossible areas
WASHINGTON, (BM) – The American company Raytheon won the competition for the creation of miniature missiles for the self-defense of fighters, learned BulgarianMilitary.com. Companies such as Lockheed Martin and Boeing also participated in this tender.
$ 93 million will be allocated for the development of a prototype mini-missile, which has received the designation Miniature Self Defense Missile.
Raytheon’s designers and engineers are committed to completing the work and testing of the rocket by mid-fall 2023. It is reported that after this a decision will be made on the transfer of ammunition to mass production and the supply of the missile to the Air Force.
Any details about the projected missile were not disclosed, however, it is known that the ammunition should be capable of hitting an enemy missile with a direct hit and not exceed one meter in length.
According to the US Air Force, the presence of such a missile in service will allow aircraft to operate in areas where there are restrictions on maneuver or it is completely impossible.
Next generation jammer mid-band is also produced by Raytheon
Raytheon has its own traditions in the production of various weapons or C4ISR systems for the US Air Force.
We reported last year, that Raytheon delivered the first Next Generation Jammer Mid-Band Engineering and Manufacturing Development pod to the U.S. Navy to begin ground and aircraft integration testing. It will protect air forces by denying, degrading and disrupting threat radars and communication devices.
Almost two years ago Raytheon received a contract from Lockheed Martin for developing the next-generation distributed aperture system (DAS) of the F-35 Lightning II, reported FlightGlobal.
The contract was announced by Lockheed Martin on 13th June, but its value did not revealed yet. Lockheed considers that the new DAS will lead to more than $3 billion in lifecycle cost savings and that it will be more reliable and have better performance than the previous version.
The distributed aperture system of the F-35 operates through six infrared cameras (electro-optical sensors) installed around the aircraft, projecting augmented-reality images into a Vision Systems International’s helmet-mounted display (HMD).
Threats like incoming missiles and aircrafts are automatically identified and tracked by the system. Thus the pilot is aware of the surrounding situation – day or night.
The integration of the Raytheon’s DAS will start with the Lot 15 F-35 aircraft and deliveries are expected to begin in 2023. The previous DAS version was manufactured by Northrop Grumman, which decided not to bid for the next generation option.
As a principal member of the F-35 industry team led by Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman executes a big part of the work related to the development and manufacturing of the F-35, which has included the production of the DAS as well.
In recent years, the company also produces UAVs
In recent years, the company has also produced military unmanned aerial vehicles. One of these tools is Coyote UAVs. As we reported on July 18 2018 the U.S. Army will operate Raytheon’s Coyote UAVs (unmanned air vehicles) as counter-drone defence with Ku-band radio frequency system fire control radars.
The Coyote UAV is a tube-launched vehicle developed for chasing down enemy UAVs and destroying them in flight with a small fragmentation warhead. Fire control radar directs the Coyote to the target.
Thomas Bussing, Raytheon’s vice-president of advanced missile systems, commented the deal at Farnborough, “We are currently under funding by the US Army to develop and deploy these devices by the end of this year. We had a demonstration with the army where we flew 12. Eleven were successful. One had a launch misfire, but the other 11 all hit their targets.”
Bussing explained that he armed drones are may take down quadrotor helicopters and other Class 1 and Class 2 unmanned air systems and added that knocking down quadcopters from the sky turned out to be more challenging than expected.
“These quadcopters are actually fairly challenging. They have a resin structure, which is actually very difficult to penetrate. They are very resilient to small arms fire and so forth. But the warheads are very capable of destroying them,” further clarified Bussing.
The Coyote UAVs allow launching from a ship, land, or air. That unmanned air vehicle may be flown individually or in swarms. It is a good solution for electronic warfare, surveillance, and counter-UAV missions. As a swarm Coyote UAVs may be used for attacking groups of vessels or targets ahead of a shore assault.
Bussing underlined that the Coyote airframe is exportable, but its electronics and warhead are not. The Raytheon’s Coyote can operate up to 1 hour and is developed for interchangeable payloads.
It is operated by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration for hurricane tracking and is assessed by the U.S. Air Force and Army as an intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance asset.
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