News From Washington
Raytheon Delivers First Production Evolved SEASPARROW to US Navy
Raytheon Co. delivered the first production Evolved SEASPARROW Missile (ESSM) to the US Navy, defining the future of ship defense. "ESSM provides improved ship self-defense capabilities against faster, lower, smaller and more maneuverable anti-ship missile threats as well as increased firepower," said Capt. Ken Graber, the NATO SEASPARROW project manager.
ESSM is an international cooperative upgrade of the RIM-7 NATO SEASPARROW Missile. SEASPARROW is already the most widely deployed ship-defense missile system in the world. The new missile will provide the primary air defense for the capital ships of the 10 participating NATO navies. Discussions are under way to outfit the ships of at least six other navies as well. The program is managed by the NATO SEASPARROW Consortium, a 32-year-old organization described as "NATO's largest and most successful cooperative weapons project." Raytheon's Missile Systems business unit in Tucson, AZ, is leading the team of 18 companies from 10 countries in developing and producing this next generation SEASPARROW ship self-defense system. The other nations participating in ESSM's development include Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Turkey. ESSM has the speed, agility and accuracy to engage threats to the launching vessel at maximum range and in the most challenging of conditions. The final phase of the missile's flight test program is scheduled for the early spring of 2003 when performance with the AEGIS Fire Control System of the US Navy's Arleigh Burke class of guided missile destroyers will be verified.
Airborne Surveillance System Keeps Security Forces Safe
Air Force Security Forces personnel supporting Operation Enduring Freedom have been equipped with the latest in Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) technology, the Force Protection Airborne Surveillance System (FPASS). The system allows security forces to see beyond base perimeters and can provide a rapid visual assessment of detected threats.
The Electronic Systems Center's Force Protection System Program Office recently completed delivery of the initial Force Protection Airborne Surveillance System to deployed security forces personnel supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. "This system adds an enhanced layer of protection for bases around the world by allowing forces personnel to see beyond base perimeters," said Colonel Howard Borst, director, Force Protection System Program Office.
Each system consists of a ground station - computer, displays, recorder and communication equipment; six UAVs; a remote imagery viewing terminal; interchangeable payloads of color cameras and thermal imagers for day and night time imagery; in addition to transportation cases and launch equipment. "The system is not intended to be 'backpackable' but it is easily transported by a general purpose vehicle," said Major John Crennan, Delay Denial Systems Division Chief. The UAV, dubbed "Desert Hawk" by Lt. General T. Michael Moseley, commander, 9th Air Force and US Central Command Air Forces, is small in size, light weight and very simple to operate. The airframe is manufactured from damage resistant molded material that is designed for limited field repair. Desert Hawk is able to operate from a 100 x 100 m clearing without a runway. "FPASS was specifically designed to be used by cops," said Major Mike Giger, FPASS program manager. "It extends the range that security forces can monitor without putting troops into harms way," he said. "This system is not intended to replace troops, it is a critical surveillance tool that will protect and save lives by providing essential real time information on potential threats," said Borst. A two-man crew operates the system. To launch the UAV, operators use a bungee cord catapult. The system is powered by rechargeable batteries that have a one-hour life span or if available, can also be operated by using commercial AC power. The UAV is designed to fly primarily at altitudes of 300-500 feet and sends back to the operators' real time overhead video data.
Space System/Loral Selected for Navy's Communication System
Loral Space and Communications announced that the US Navy's Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) has awarded a Space Systems/ Loral (SS/L) team, led by Raytheon, a $40 M Component Advanced Development (CAD) contract to develop the US Navy's $6 B, next-generation, satellite-based mobile communications system, the Mobile User Objective System (MUOS).
CAD is a 14-month effort aimed at reducing risk and advancing system design concepts that stem from MUOS' recently completed 1999-to-2002 Concept Exploration Phase (CEP). SPAWAR tapped the Raytheon-SS/L team for CAD based on the team performance during the earlier CEP program. The latest award reflects SPAWAR's selection of two teams, which will work in parallel until 2004, when one team will be selected to lead future MUOS efforts.
SS/L is part of a Raytheon-led team that also includes TRW Astro Aerospace and Honeywell. The two teams have been funded by SPAWAR to compete for a system design and development contract to be awarded in January 2004, for construction of the first MUOS satellite, which will be launched in 2008. Subsequently, the MUOS Program Production and Deployment contract will be awarded in mid-2006 and continue through 2023. As part of the newly awarded development program, SS/L will be adapting its highly successful commercial 1300 spacecraft platform for the MUOS narrowband tactical communications System.
"The combination of SS/L's heritage satellite bus with the payload technology and expertise of our team members provides our government with cost-effective improvements in its satellite communications Systems," said C. Patrick DeWitt, president of SS/L. "MUOS will ensure its users an uninterrupted communication link, without concern for the location, weather or local geography."
MUOS will be a narrow band satellite communication (SATCOM) system that supports a worldwide, multi-service/multi-national population of mobile and fixed-site war fighter terminals. Its capabilities will provide a considerable increase in throughput over the current Ultra High Frequency (UHF) Follow-on (UFO) narrow band satellite communications system. It will also provide greater flexibility through improved link performance for users such as Navy Seals and other special forces to operate in difficult environments. SS/L MUOS design is based on the company's space-proven 1300 geostationary satellite platform, which has an excellent record of reliable operation and is highly adaptable to a wide variety of payloads. Over the past 45 years, SS/L satellites have amassed well over 900 years of on-orbit services.
BAE Systems Demonstrate Guided Rocket
BAE Systems successfully launched a 2.75" laser guided rocket using a unique mid-body, fin-mounted, guidance system, scoring a "bull's-eye" hit on a small target more than three miles away from its launch point. The control test vehicle (CTV) was fired Sept. 29 at the Army's Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona for the Army's low cost precision kill (LCPK) program.
During the rocket's flight, the CTV completed a series of preprogrammed flight maneuvers, demonstrating real-time aerodynamic control by the autopilot and inertial sensor. The test vehicle was launched with a fully integrated guidance and control system and semi-active laser seeker to evaluate subsystem performance in flight. The shot followed extensive hardware in the loop testing at the Army's Missile Research and Development Engineering Center facility, Huntsville, AL. The LCPK program is an advanced technology development program to develop prototype laser-based 2.75" guidance sections. BAE Systems Information and Electronic Warfare Systems, Nashua, NH, is working under a $5 M contract to design and develop the guided rocket.