JSOW Missile Engine Test Successful, Raytheon Announces

The Joint Standoff Weapon Extended Range (JSOW-ER) missile moved one step closer to powered flight testing when Raytheon Co. [RTN] successfully conducted a second ground test of its engine, the company announced.

The test was run at Hamilton Sundstrand, a United Technologies Corp. [UTX] unit, in the San Diego area late last year.

The Raytheon- and Hamilton Sundstrand-funded test evaluated a flush inlet, engine and exhaust design. This test keeps the JSOW-ER on track for further functional ground tests, a captive carry flight test this year, and a free-flight demonstration next year.

JSOW-ER, which comprises a portion of Raytheon’s response to the Air Force request for information for alternative solutions to the Joint Air-to- Surface Standoff Missile, is a proposed variant of the combat-proven JSOW, with a price goal of $350,000 per unit.

“JSOW-ER provides the warfighter an affordable extended-range missile that is essentially a spiral of Raytheon’s combat-proven glide JSOW,” said Harry Schulte, vice president of Raytheon Missile Systems Strike product line.

“It can be easily integrated onto any aircraft that can carry JSOW and will give the warfighter a 300-nautical mile missile with the same netted weapon capability and maritime interdiction capability currently in development for the JSOW C-1.”

JSOW-ER’s affordability and longer range can, in large part, be attributed to the weapon’s 150-pound thrust class Hamilton Sundstrand engine. The engine, which is the same one used in Raytheon’s Miniature Air Launched Decoy, will help keep the JSOW-ER affordable while reducing the cost per unit, thanks to economies of scale. JSOW-ER will also incorporate the same cost initiatives that reduced the unit cost of JSOW Block II by more than 25 percent, according to Raytheon.

The AGM-154A, or JSOW-A variant, dispenses BLU-97 combined-effect bomblets for use against soft and area targets. The program completed production mid- 2007 and is integrated on the F/A-18, F-16, F-15E, B-2 and B-52 aircraft. JSOW A-1 has a BLU-111 warhead (insensitive MK-82) and is primarily for the international market. Turkey ordered 50 in 2006.

More than 400 JSOW-As have been used in combat operations, including Iraqi Freedom. The AGM-154C, or JSOW-C variant, incorporates an imaging infrared seeker for high precision and a multistage warhead, which has both a blast-fragmentation and hard-target penetration effect.

JSOW-C is in full-rate production and achieved initial operational capability in February 2005 with the Navy and Marine Corps. It is currently being produced for Navy and Marine Corps’ F/A-18 Hornets and has been ordered by Poland and Turkey for use on F-16 Fighting Falcons.

The JSOW AGM-154C-1 variant recently entered the system design and development phase.

The JSOW program recently celebrated six years of uninterrupted and on-time deliveries, with more than 3,000 weapons produced, according to Raytheon.

Loral To Provide Broadband Satellite For Viasat

Loral announced last week it will provide a satellite for ViaSat.

Loral Space & Communications [LORL] subsidiary, Space Systems/Loral, or SS/L, was selected to provide a high capacity broadband satellite for ViaSat Inc. [VSAT].

ViaSat-1 is expected to be the world’s highest capacity broadband satellite.

Loral also announced it is investing in the Canadian coverage portion of the satellite in anticipation of Telesat Canada (which is 64 percent owned by Loral) utilizing the capacity for Canadian services.

The satellite is planned for Telesat’s 115 West longitude orbital slot.

Telesat will provide telemetry, tracking and control operations for the satellite.

“A major reason we chose to work with Space Systems/Loral is SS/L’s significant experience with Ka-band technology,” said Mark Dankberg, chairman and CEO of ViaSat.

The new spacecraft is to launch in 2011 and is expected to serve more than 15 years.

It employs the SS/L 1300 platform and high-capacity Ka-band spot beam technology to serve more broadband users at faster data rates than any previous satellite, according to the company.

ViaSat-1 involves ViaSat, Loral, Telesat and Eutelsat, which is working with ViaSat on the networking system and a common wholesale business model that works through existing ISPs, telecommunication companies, and pay TV providers to serve subscribers.

France Gives Raytheon $22 Million Contract For Paveway II

France gave Raytheon Co. [RTN] a $22 million direct commercial sales contract for the Enhanced Paveway II (EP-2) smart bombs and integration on some fighter aircraft.

Raytheon will provide the EP2 dual-mode GPS/laser-guided precision munition and weapons integration for the French Air Force Mirage 2000D fighter aircraft.

Paveway II (P2) laser-guided smart bombs already equip the Mirage 2000D, which supports U.S. and other NATO forces in Afghanistan.

EP2 first achieved initial operational capability on the French Navy Super Etendard fighter aircraft in 2007, which also benefited the French Air Force.

The new contract calls for Raytheon to provide the French Air Force with upgrade kits to convert 500-pound P2 laser-guided bombs into the more capable dual-mode GBU-49 and includes additional options for more EP2 systems.

The GBU-49 is a precision weapon employed by U.S. and allied forces in both Afghanistan and Iraq. EP2 already is in operational use on several other U.S. and NATO military aircraft including the French Navy Super Etendard.

“EP2 gives our French operators a true all-weather precision-attack capability,” said Cdr. Yann de Champsavin, French Navy program officer. “EP2 matches real affordability with unrivalled standoff range, accuracy and reliability. That is why EP2 is a clear weapon of choice.”

Northrop Grumman Gains MDA ATILL Phase 2 Contract

The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) gave Northrop Grumman Corp. [NOC] a laser contract.

That pact covers the second phase of a five-and-a-half year program to develop the Advanced Track Illuminator Laser, or ATILL — a six-kilowatt-class, solid-state, pulsed laser with excellent beam quality for advanced MDA missions.

The entire four-phase program will support MDA and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory (MIT/LL) in building the next generation Cryo Yb:YAG (ytterbium: yttrium aluminum garnet) solid-state laser track illuminator while significantly improving packaging density and electrical efficiency.

During Phase 1 of the contract, Northrop provided laser system modeling and analysis, performed trade studies and presented options at a conceptual design review in December.

Following the 12 months of Phase 2, MDA will down-select to a single industry partner for the remaining two phases. The fourth phase will culminate in 2012 with delivery to the government of a flight-qualifiable brassboard laser system.

During Phase 1, the Northrop Grumman team conducted a four-month study focusing on system engineering and design trade-offs for development of a packaged brassboard laser and participated in the technology transfer effort at MIT/LL.

Brassboard design analysis and technology transfer with MIT/LL will continue through Phases 2 and 3, with fabrication, integration and testing of the brassboard conducted in Phase 4.

Northrop has on its team Q-Peak Inc., which built the second most powerful Cryo Yb:YAG laser to date and shares a legacy in solid-state experience similar to Northrop’s.

Lockheed Gains $194 Million ATACMS Contract

The Army gave Lockheed Martin Corp. [LMT] a $194 million deal to provide ATACMS, the Army Tactical Missile System, the company announced.

Lockheed received the order from the Army Aviation & Missile Command, with work to be performed at Lockheed plants in Dallas and Horizon City, Texas.

Work is to be completed by the second quarter of 2010.

The contract includes the ATACMS Quick Reaction Unitary and Block IA Missiles. ATACMS is a long-range missile artillery round for destroying high-priority targets at ranges up to 300 kilometers. With a wide variety of warhead options, it can operate in all climate and light conditions while remaining beyond the range of most conventional weapons.

“Combat-proven ATACMS adds to the concept of ‘joint fires interdependence’ by offering the right munition to achieve the right effect at the right time, regardless of the color of the uniform you’re wearing,” said Col. Gary S. Kinne, training and doctrine command capabilities manager for rocket and missile systems at Fort Sill, Okla. “The Army’s first surface-to-surface, long-range, all-weather, precision attack capability used in combat, ATACMS provides the joint force commander an immediately available, lethal asset to attack time-sensitive and high value stationary or fixed targets in both open and constrained environments (complex/urban terrain). ATACMS will continue to provide a joint complementary option by its inclusion in the air tasking order for planned attack and defeat of high value targets and/or in a support role to provide joint suppression or destruction of enemy air defenses. Its precision reach affords the ability to provide responsive, long-range lateral supporting fires as well as shaping fires that set the conditions for decisive victory. This flexibility enables support of non-standard and direct support missions in addition to the more traditional role of general support to a corps or joint task force. Evolving tactics and techniques will enhance its utility well into the foreseeable future.”

The Army TACMS Unitary missile is a responsive, all weather, long-range missile, with a high explosive, fragmentation, multifunctional warhead fired from the Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) family of launchers, including the MLRS 270A1 launcher and the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System. This system will have a much more efficient logistical footprint, while it will expand the traditional target-set for Army TACMS.

ATACMS is fired from the Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) family of launchers, including the original M270, the M270 Improved Position Determining System (IPDS), the M270A1 and the new High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) launchers. The M270, M270-IPDS and M270A1 launchers can carry two ATACMS missiles, or 12 MLRS rockets, in a full load. HIMARS carries a single ATACMS missile, or six MLRS rockets, and is C-130 transportable.

Each ATACMS missile is approximately 13 feet long, two feet in diameter and has a range of up to 300 kilometers. A single ATACMS missile can defeat company-size targets beyond the range of current Army cannons and rockets. The first launch of an ATACMS missile was April 26, 1988, at White Sands Missile Range, N.M.