28 Apr 22. Raytheon Missiles & Defense to work with Firehawk Aerospace on hybrid rocket propulsion technologies. Raytheon Missiles & Defense, a Raytheon Technologies (NYSE: RTX) business, has completed a Series A investment in Firehawk Aerospace, a company that specializes in high-performance propulsion technology. The two companies will now collaborate on research and development projects that explore the integration of Firehawk’s technology into future missile systems.
“Advanced propulsion technology is critical to developing next-generation missile solutions,” said Wes Kremer, president of Raytheon Missiles & Defense. “Over the next several years, our companies will work together to identify projects that evolve Firehawk’s technology for use in defense applications.”
Firehawk has several patents related to hybrid propulsion, various rocket propellants, and manufacturing methods.
“Our custom-made rocket engines use hybrid propulsion systems rather than conventional solids,” said Will Edwards, co-founder and chief executive officer of Firehawk. “Applying these technologies to defense solutions will open up new capabilities against advanced threats.”
28 Apr 22. USS Zumwalt live fires ESSM and SM-2 during final air defence testing. The exercise saw the destroyer’s crew fire the missile at live targets. The US Navy’s Zumwalt-class guided missile destroyer USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000) has successfully conducted its first in-class live-fire missile exercise.
As part of the exercise, the crew of USS Zumwalt fired a series of missiles, including RIM 162D Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile Block 1 (ESSM) and the Standard Missile 2 (SM-2).
The exercise was conducted at the Point Mugu Test Range in the Pacific Ocean on 14 April. The missiles engaged live targets.
It marked the final air defence testing of the Zumwalt-class guided missile destroyer.
USS Zumwalt commanding officer captain Amy McInnis said: “Demonstrating the capability of our combat suite and the lethality of our systems is critical to furthering the Zumwalt class.
“Zumwalt continues to make great strides and we are excited to continue to test her limits later this year.”
Following the live-fire testing, USS Zumwalt crew has now started preparing for the maiden deployment.
Built by General Dynamics Bath Iron Works (BIW), DDG 1000 is the first surface combatant of the Zumwalt-class designed to combat various naval threats.
The stealth destroyer was named in honour of admiral Elmo R Zumwalt, the US Navy’s 19th Chief of Naval Operations (CNO). It is currently carrying out routine operations in US 3rd Fleet.
The next-generation multi-mission destroyer can perform several operations, including command and control, deterrence, sea control, and other power projection missions.
The Zumwalt-class destroyer is designed to strengthen the maritime power, allowing the US Navy to evolve with advanced systems.
USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000) has also completed a structural test fire of its gun weapon system (GWS), Mark 46 MOD 2, in May 2020. (Source: naval-technology.com)
27 Apr 22. USN’s next-gen, ship-killing missile will be a hypersonic weapon dubbed HALO. The fiscal 2023 budget request is the first to outline crucial details about the next increment of OASuW, including its hypersonic capability. The Navy’s latest budget request revealed the next increment of the service’s air-launched, ship-killing missile will be a hypersonic weapon dubbed HALO. The program’s name is the Offensive Anti-Surface Warfare Weapon (OASuW) Increment II, and the service’s recently published budget justification documents call its development a “national imperative to maturing hypersonic capabilities.” Its nickname, HALO, is short for the Hypersonic Air-launched OASuW.
HALO “will be a higher-speed, longer range, air-launched weapon system providing superior anti surface warfare capabilities,” according to the justification documents. “OASuW Inc 2/HALO will address advanced threats from engagement distances that allow the Navy to operate in, and control, contested battle space in littoral waters and Anti-Access/Area Denial (A2/AD) environments.”
The weapon’s first increment is the Lockheed Martin-built Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM), which has achieved early operational capability on several different warplanes in recent years, such as the Navy’s F/A-18 as well as the Air Force’s B-1B bomber. The fiscal 2023 budget request is the first to establish LRASM’s successor as HALO and reveal it will be a hypersonic capability.
The Navy is seeking $92 m in research and development funding for HALO in FY23 and aims to the field the technology in FY28. The service sought, but did not receive, approximately $56 m for similar research in the FY22 budget request.
A chart contained in the budget books indicates Halo is expected to reach “milestone B” by the end of FY23. Milestone B is an acquisition marker indicating a technology is cleared to begin producing prototypes. The budget books say the program’s acquisition strategy will follow a “competitive, phased approach” and that the service plans to engage “multiple vendors [to mature] a design” in FY23. (Source: Breaking Defense.com)
27 Apr 22. Pentagon budget 2023: USMC details plans to field three MRIC batteries. US Marine Corps (USMC) leadership wants to spend USD1.2bn on ground-based air defence (GBAD) systems during the next five years, with plans to begin fielding a new mobile capability to the force in 2026 that is centred around significant Iron Dome components. The Pentagon and services have staggered the release of fiscal year (FY) 2023 budget request documents and the USMC published justification books that provide an initial five-year road map for the acquisition and fielding of a host of air defence capabilities. More specifically, the service is requesting USD174m for GBAD procurement programmes in FY 2023, and has outlined plans to request USD196m for FY 2024, USD194m for FY2025, USD264mi for FY 2026 and USD393 m for FY 2027. (Source: Janes)
27 Apr 22. US Army plan to replace Patriot interceptors gets a jolt in FY23 budget request. The Army is pushing a new plan for a future air-defense interceptor that would replace Lockheed Martin-made Patriot missiles, after leaving the effort simmer on the back burner for several years, fiscal 2023 budget justification documents reveal. While the service planned to make a contract award to a single vendor through a competitive process in the third quarter of FY26, according to last year’s budget justification documents, it now plans to conduct a down-select to a single vendor through a process that begins in the second quarter of FY23 and ends in the fourth quarter of FY25.
The Army has been conducting initial concept development beginning in FY20 but plans to extend that development through the fourth quarter of FY23. The service originally planned to complete that phase at the end of FY20, according to the FY22 justification books.
Prior to the end of the concept development phase, the Army plans to produce an Abbreviated Concept Development Document, or ACDD, in the second quarter of FY23.
The Army is also bumping up its plans to produce its Concept Development Document by the first quarter of FY24 rather than the first quarter of FY25, according to comparison of FY22 and FY23 budget documents.
Previous plans also indicate the Army was going to make a decision on whether it would enter the technology-development phase in the third quarter of 2026, but now it will enter a rapid capability development phase for a first increment beginning in the first quarter of FY25, which would then end in the fourth quarter of 2029.
The Army plans to spend roughly $8.2m a year across the next five years on the program, according to FY23 justification books.
The Future Interceptor was designated by the Army as a key enabler to support Army modernization priorities of the Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) program, the documents note.
“The warfighter community is actively developing operational requirements for the Future Interceptor that will defend against current and emerging near-peer threats,” the budget documents read. “The Future Interceptor will complement current sensor programs and is required to be employed in 2028.”
The Future Interceptor program will be designed to target air, missile, and hypersonic threats within the “lower-tier portion of the ballistic missile defense battlespace,” the documents add.
Desired capabilities for the future interceptor include increased velocity, attitude and maneuverability, the document lists.
An increase in funding from $6.9m in FY22 to $8.2m in FY23 is due to inflation and the planned lifecycle of the program, the documents note.
The Army plans to use the Defense Ordnance Technology Consortium Other Transaction Authority – which is a contracting mechanism that enables rapid prototyping – to execute a competitive “initial concept definition” with two contractors. That phase will focus on modeling and simulation and prototype some high-risk hardware technologies.
The service will use what is garnered in the initial concept definition phase to choose a single vendor.
The Army is farther ahead in replacing the Patriot air-and-missile defense radar with a Lower-Tier Air-and-Missile Defense Sensor, or LTAMDS, and is just beginning to take receipt of the first radars, built by Raytheon, for developmental testing at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. The sensors will then be plugged into the future Integrated Air-and-Missile Defense capability, Maj. Gen. Robert Rasch, Program Executive Officer for Missiles and Space, told Defense News in an interview in March.
The Northrop Grumman-developed Integrated Battle Command System is in the midst of a critical initial operational test and evaluation.
Plans for a future launcher have yet to materialize, but the Army is conducting analyses and evaluating what will be needed for that system, Rasch said in another interview with Defense News last fall.
“We just have to make sure we get the timing right, get the requirements as close as we can based upon the threat evolution as it occurs, and then make sure we’ve got a good resourcing and acquisition plan lined up on that — so more to come,” he said. (Source: Defense News)