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U.S. Navy Contracts Alliant, LockMart To Develop New SLIRBM System

File photo set showing a missile intercept using the THAAD system.

Washington (UPI) July 14, 2005
Alliant Techsystems and Lockheed Martin have been awarded a $9.2 million contract from the U.S. Navy's Strategic Systems Program to develop a new Submarine-Launched Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile system, or SLIRBM, Alliant announced Tuesday.

Under the 16-month contract, Alliant and Lockheed Martin Space Systems of Sunnyvale, Ca. will develop the missile system and the solid rocket motor technologies it will require, the San Jose Business Journal reported.

Lockheed Martin will serve as the overall prime contractor and systems integrator for the project. Alliant will lead the ground demonstrations, after which the companies will work together to move the program to the flight demonstration around 2008.

The project is part of the U.S. Navy's Submarine-Launched Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile System program.

On Monday, Alliant and Lockheed were awarded another $75.7 million contract under the program.


Air Force Lt. General Henry "Trey" Obering, director of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency, announced Tuesday a successful tracking test of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) Radar.

The radar, integrated with the THAAD command, control, battle management and communications system, acquired and tracked two Orion missile targets flying separate, inbound tactical ballistic flight profiles at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., on June 17, Obering said

The THAAD equipment was operated by air defense artillery soldiers from Fort Bliss, Texas. The was a confidence-building milestone leading to fully integrated developmental flight testing of the THAAD system later this year, the MDA said.

The MDA said the test demonstrated the successful integration of the radar and command-and-control system against live targets. During the flight of the first target, the radar acquired, tracked and classified both the inbound expended booster and the separated re-entry vehicle through a single-stage separation event, the MDA said.

Using track data provided by the radar, the command, control, battle management and communications system conducted threat assessment, object tasking and engagement planning, the agency said

In the second targeting simulation, the THAAD radar acquired, tracked and classified an inbound unitary missile, the MDA said,

It was the eighth test of the radar tracking a tactical ballistic missile target. The radar tracked the targets until they exited its field of view in both events. According to the MDA. all test objectives were met.

The THAAD radar, the largest, most powerful mobile radar in the world, is capable of search, self-queuing, threat detection and object classification at extremely long ranges. It communicates with the THAAD interceptor missile to provide in-flight target updates.

The THAAD command, control, battle management and communications system is designed to provide the planning, control, coordination and communications to fulfill the THAAD mission, the MDA said.

Two missiles have been successfully fired from an F-111 aircraft at the Woomera Test Range in South Australia, Australian Defense Minister Robert Hill said Thursday.

"The firings are the first for an AGM-142E missile in the region and form a key milestone in the test and evaluation program that will lead to acceptance of the missile into service," Hill said.

"The F-111/AGM-142E combination will ensure that the Air Force maintains an effective precision, long-range strike capability until the arrival of the upgraded F/A-18 and new longer range weapons," he said.

Hill said the air-launched missile "will provide a capability to strike non-hardened and semi-hardened fixed targets while providing greater stand-off range than can be achieved with free-fall munitions, improving the survivability of the F-111C aircraft.

"The AGM-142E missile has the longest range of the air to ground weapons currently available within the ADF and is capable of engaging a wide range of targets from more than 50 kilometers (30 miles) away," he said.

The Australian defense chief said the test demonstrated his government's continued confidence in the veteran, U.S.-built, swing-wing F-111. "The F-111 serviceability is currently excellent, and all operational and training commitments are being met. The F-111 will continue to operate as a front-line part of Australia's defenses until at least 2010. The fleet will not be retired until all of the F-18 upgrades are in place," he said.

The AGM-142E weapon system comprises a standoff, air-to-ground, electro-optical guided missile fitted with an imaging infrared seeker and a Data Link Pod. The missile weighs over 2,850 pounds, is powered by a single stage solid rocket motor and can be armed with either a general-purpose blast fragmentation warhead or a penetrating warhead.

The AGM-142E is produced by Precision Guided Munitions of the United States, a joint venture company comprising RAFAEL and Lockheed Martin, and it is being procured by Australia's Defence Materiel Organisation from the U.S. government, via foreign military sales.

The aircraft modifications required to integrate the AGM-142E weapon system were designed and incorporated by Boeing Australia Limited. "Formal introduction of the missile into operational service is scheduled for early next year," Hill said.

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Japan Says Interceptor Missiles Developed With US Can Go To Third Countries
Tokyo (AFP) Jul 14, 2005
Japan's defense chief said Thursday his country could offer interceptor missiles it was developing with the United States to third countries, a sensitive issue under pacifist Japan's controls on arms exports.

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