Raytheon and Kongsberg to field long-distance, anti-ship missile
Part of a raft of missile announcements at Farnborough Airshow
Raytheon and the Norwegian defense company Kongsberg Gruppen are joining forces to field a new, long-distance anti-ship missile, part of a growing category of weapons aimed at expanding naval and anti-vessel warfare farther than ever before.
The Joint Strike Missile’s development is already funded by the Norwegian government – a key advantage at a time when the U.S. Navy is considering cost-effective solutions for next-generation anti-ship weapons. Norway is also funding its integration into the F-35 Lighting II jet.
Raytheon and Kongsberg announced their partnership July 15 during the 2014 Farnborough International Airshow outside London.
The world’s navies have become increasingly concerned about defending far-flung fleets, leading to new weapons aimed at striking far beyond the horizon. In June, Raytheon’s new Standard Missile-6 performed the longest surface-to-air strike in naval history. The company is also equipping its Tomahawk cruise missile with a seeker, allowing it to hunt down moving targets more than 1,000 miles away.
Raytheon is also building the powerful new Air and Missile Defense Radar for U.S. Navy ships. The company’s JLENS aerostats, meanwhile, can see hundreds of miles out to sea and direct missiles fired from over the horizon using a sophisticated targeting network.
“Raytheon’s global development capability allows us to identify and offer the advanced and affordable solutions our customers require for the complex missions of the future,” said Dr. Taylor W. Lawrence, president of Raytheon Missile Systems.
Busy day for missile news
The Raytheon-Kongsberg announcement was part of a raft of missile news at the Farnborough show.
Company officials gave details on a May U.S. Air Force test in which an F35-B successfully fired two AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles. The missiles tracked and engaged two aerial targets – the first dual AMRAAM shot from any variant of the F-35 and the first live AMRAAM shot from the F-35B, the version of the fighter that can land vertically.
“AMRAAM’s seeker and guidance section are the most advanced of any air-to-air missiles flying today,” said Mike Jarrett, Raytheon Air Warfare Systems vice president. “AMRAAM gives the F-35 significant firepower and provides warfighters around the globe with an unfair advantage in the fight.”
Company officials also briefed journalists on the Small Diameter Bomb II, which has completed preliminary fit checks and pit tests on the F-35. The fit check showed the SDB II fits in the fighter’s weapons cavity and aligns with the plane’s electronics. The F-35 carries its weapons internally, unlike current fighter planes, which store weapons on their wings.
The pit test checks the weapon’s ability to eject from the aircraft. The bomb was ejected from the plane’s bay to ensure it clears possible obstructions, and was dropped into a pit filled with absorbent materials.
The tests supported the F-35’s ability to carry eight SDB II bombs – winged, gliding weapons that can be fired more than 45 miles from their target. The SDB II’s seeker can see through otherwise troublesome battlefield obstacles such as heavy dust and storm clouds.
Integration of the SDB II on the F-35 by the U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force is “an important first step in bringing SDB II’s capabilities to other front-line fighters,” said John O’Brien, Raytheon SDB II program director.
“With the start of low-rate initial production right around the corner, SDB II will soon be in the hands of our warfighters and making a difference on the battlefield,” O’Brien said.
The F-35B also had a successful air-to-ground weapons test with Raytheon’s GBU-12 Paveway II laser-guided bomb in October 2013, releasing the weapon from 25,000 feet and hitting a tank at Edwards Air Force Base in California. The bomb used in that test did not contain explosives.
Early planning has also started for the integration of the SDB II on the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, and a series of F-16 flight tests using SDB II Instrumented Measurement Vehicles also have been completed.Other Raytheon announcements today include:
Air Force orders 200 MALD-J decoys
Raytheon announced it has received an $80 million U.S. Air Force contract for production and delivery of 200 Miniature Air Launched Decoys. The latest contract award is for the jammer variant known as MALD-J, and deliveries are set to start in early 2015.
MALD protects air crews and aircraft by mimicking the signatures and combat flight profiles of U.S. and allied aircraft. This is the seventh production lot for MALD.
“MALD protects aircrews and their aircraft by mimicking the signatures and combat flight profiles of U.S. and allied aircraft,” Jarrett said. “By adding a jamming capability to MALD, we have created the world’s only stand-in jammer, giving the warfighter increased capability in the same package.”
Successful flight test for anti-radiation missile
Raytheon and the U.S. Air Force in successfully flight-tested an upgraded High Speed Anti-Radiation Missile (HARM) in May. The HARM Control Section Modification (HCSM) is more accurate, reducing potential collateral damage.
During the test, an F-16 fired an HCSM against an emitter that shut down, while a similar decoy threat outside the designated missile impact zone attempted to lure the missile off target. The missile rejected the decoy and found its primary target, demonstrating that HCSM is ready for deployment to the U.S. Air Force.
“Warfighters have long relied on the combat-proven HARM to suppress or destroy surface-to-air missile radars, early-warning radars and radar-directed air defense artillery systems,” Jarrett said. "With HCSM, we are adding a GPS receiver and an improved inertial measurement unit to improve the probability of hit, defeat counter-HARM tactics and control where the missile can and cannot fly.”
Last Updated: 07/21/2014