Goes long, flies high
Raytheon’s new extended-range, surface-to-air missile will enhance proven air defense system
With a dramatic increase in both range and altitude, the missile protects a larger area against multiple threats simultaneously.
Here are five things to know about the test and the AMRAAM-ER missile:
1. It destroyed a target drone.
In a test conducted at the Andoya Space Center on Aug. 31, an AMRAAM-ER missile successfully engaged and destroyed a target drone. The test verified that all the parts of the system – the missile, NASAMS system, Sentinel radar and Kongsberg’s Fire Distribution Center – work seamlessly together.
2. It goes long and jumps high.
The new weapon's maximum range is 50 percent longer than the standard version, and its maximum altitude is 70 percent higher, thanks to enhancements including an enlarged rocket motor.
3. Built from the best of the best.
The new variant combines the standard AMRAAM missile – a fixture in the arsenal of 37 militaries – with the rocket motor of the ESSM®, or Evolved Sea Sparrow, guided missile. The integration means that the AMRAAM-ER missile, when used in a surface-to-air configuration, has a dramatically longer reach.
The standard AMRAAM missile can launch from airborne platforms including the F-15, F-16, F/A-18, F-22, Typhoon, Gripen, Tornado, Harrier, F-4 and the Joint Strike Fighter aircraft. It is also the baseline missile for the NASAMS launcher. The ability to launch from air and from the surface offers a benefit that military commanders call "operational flexibility."
4. It has a powerful partner.
The NASAMS system, manufactured by Raytheon and Norwegian partner Kongsberg, is the most widely-used short- and medium-range air defense system in NATO. Raytheon and Kongsberg have delivered more than 70 fire units of the highly adaptable launcher to seven countries.
5. It has a great spotter.
The Sentinel radar is a highly mobile, three-dimensional, phased-array, ground-based air defense radar system that operates in the X-band region of the electromagnetic spectrum. The radar automatically detects, tracks, identifies, classifies and reports airborne threats, including helicopters, high-speed attack aircraft, cruise missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles.
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