08 Jul 16. USN plans active seeker refit for SM-2 missile. Key Points:
• Refit move comes alongside activity to re-start SM-2 all-up-round (AUR) production in FY 2017
• PEO IWS has already engaged in dialogue with the international SM-2 Block IIIA/IIIB user community regarding possible cooperation
The US Navy (USN) plans to introduce an active radar seeker into the Standard Missile-2 (SM-2) family as part of upgrade and obsolescence mitigation programme intended to maintain the effectiveness of SM-2 into the 2030s.
This move comes alongside activity to re-start SM-2 all-up-round (AUR) production in fiscal year (FY) 2017 to meet international customer demand through Foreign Military Sales (FMS).
Although the USN ceased procurement of new SM-2 missiles after its FY 2011 buy, the service expects to maintain the weapon in inventory for at least another 20 years. Under the FY 2017 budget plan, initial funding has been earmarked for SM-2 improvement requirements definition and risk reduction work.
The SM-2 missile family currently uses semi-active radar homing, requiring illuminator support to illuminate the target in the terminal phase of an engagement. Speaking at the IQ Defence Naval Combat Systems Conference in London, US Navy Captain Michael Ladner, Major Program Manager, Surface Ship Weapons (IWS 3.0) in the Naval Sea Systems Command’s Program Executive Office Integrated Warfare Systems (PEO IWS), confirmed that the SM-2 improvement programme “will put an active seeker in the front-end of SM-2”.
Explaining the move, he continued, “As the threat and the density of raids continue to get higher and closer, there are inherent limitations on semi-active capability. So in 2017 we’re going to start an obsolescence improvement programme on Standard Missile-2 that is going to do a whole bunch of things. But the big change is that we’re going to put an active seeker in the front end.
“That active [seeker] capability will allow [SM-2] to pace the threat going forward. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
08 Jul 16. MDA: Latest GMD test achieved its objectives despite ‘anomaly.’ Key Points:
• A January GMD test showed an anomaly with the divert and attitude control system
• MDA said the issue did not impact the test results
The US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) acknowledged that during its latest test of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system an issue occurred with the rocket motor that allows the interceptor to divert to meet incoming missile threats.
However, MDA said the anomaly, in the Divert and Attitude Control System (DACS) during a controlled vehicle flight test (CTV-02+) in January, did not affect the demonstration’s goals. The test was designed to collect data on reliability improvements made to Raytheon’s Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle (EKV).
The MDA and Raytheon declined to provide details on exactly what the anomaly was. Raytheon referred all questions to the MDA. The issue was first revealed in a Los Angeles Times report.
“This flight test met all primary and secondary objectives and the system performed as designed,” MDA spokesperson Christopher Johnson told IHS Jane’s on 6 July.
MDA, however, declined to reveal the test’s primary and secondary objectives.
The CTV-02+ event was not designed as an intercept test but rather to prove design changes intended to fix flaws in the latest generation of the system’s three-stage Ground-Based Interceptor, known as the Capability Enhancement II (CE-II) version.
According to a 28 January statement from the MDA, “The kill vehicle performed scripted manoeuvres to demonstrate performance of alternate divert thrusters. Upon entering terminal phase, the kill vehicle initiated a planned burn sequence to evaluate the alternate divert thrusters until fuel was exhausted, intentionally precluding an intercept.”
Although deemed a successful test at the time by MDA and Raytheon, the Los Angeles Times report said one of the divert thrusters failed.
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