These will be new mini-missiles for the F-35, F-22 and other fighters, letting them carry 2 or 3 of these missiles in place of every AMRAAM and having (for the SACM) BVR capabilities.
Raytheon has been awarded a $14 million Air Force contract for research and development intended to improve the military’s state-of-the-art air-launched, tactical missiles.
Under the agreement, which was announced Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Defense, Raytheon will attempt to improve upon the number of missiles that can be held on a single excursion. The company will also work to improve both the impact of each missile, and the platform survivability against any threat that would arise in an anti-access, area denial (A2AD) environment.
Two research concepts will help to achieve the improvements: the Small Advanced Capability Missile (SACM) and Miniature Self-Defense Munition (MSDM).
“The SACM will support affordable, highly lethal, small size and weight ordnance with advanced air frame design and synergistic control capabilities for air dominance enabling high air-to-air load-out,” the DoD said. “The MSDM will support miniaturized weapon capabilities for air superiority by enabling close-in platform self-defense and penetration into contested A2AD environment with little to no impact to payload capacity.”
Raytheon was one of four companies to submit a bid for the indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity cost contract. The labor will be conducted in Tucson, Ariz., and should be finished by Jan. 19, 2021.
I'm conflicted about this. On the one hand, I'm glad that Lockmart lost. On the other, I'm sad that CUDA won't be a thing. I hope whatever Raytheon comes up with is as neat as CUDA.
CUDA = Lockheed's entry for SACM; SACM itself is the USAF program and has the requirements set for size, etc. Raytheon will essentially be building tech for CUDA and then either Raytheon or another company will get the contract for production.
What's wrong with the idea? They keep roughly the same range as an AIM-120C by ditching or downsizing the warhead, miniaturizing the electronics, etc. No missile has a 100% pK, so having 2 or 3x as many missiles helps a lot with that.
>after a certain point
You mean the point where the warhead weight falls to zero, and any further reduction either compromises seeker performance or reduces range and velocity? Sure.
But that's the thing - SACM employs HTK capabilities to minimize warhead mass needed (which propagates upwards to reduced propellant needed) without affecting the performance of the missile otherwise. The ONLY downside is that your missile won't be able to produce appreciable splash damage if it fuses on a nearby countermeasure instead of the aircraft itself - but with modern seekers that's a near-nonexistent issue.
>CUDA = Lockheed's entry for SACM; SACM itself is the USAF program and has the requirements set for size, etc. Raytheon will essentially be building tech for CUDA and then either Raytheon or another company will get the contract for production.
I understand that. CUDA had some appealing features (in particular, I thought the forebody ACMs were rather clever), which Raytheon may or may not implement for themselves.
Whether or not you would consider salvoing missiles would depend on the target you're facing and it's capabilities. One way or another, having a missile that's light enough to do so without concern of running out of missiles is nothing but good.
It's not the same thing, it just means that where an F-22 or F-35 would previously fire an AMRAAM, they'll fire 2. As it sits, some engagements mean that F-22s will ripple-fire multiple AMRAAMs to ensure a kill, this is similar, except now instead of having 6 internal AMRAAMs, you can have up to 12 SACMs or a mix of missiles. MSDM (if it's like KICM) is basically an anti-missile missile or short range dogfighting missile. It might not become a thing because laser tech might exceed it too quickly, but it would allow for 3 MSDMs for every AMRAAM.
As I can't, I'll concede that, but ignoring the fact that more missiles =/= salvo tactics as >>28651159 was suggesting, at least having a larger missile 'magazine' is beneficial to combat endurance.
There's no reason for American aircraft to carry such a large missile magazine. In the event that the aircraft stated would be fighting multiple enemies at such a large opposing force, their would likely be friendly aircraft involved. We don't need this bullshit, anorexic missile stacked sixteen deep up the ass of our F-35 pilots.
The reason is that ECM is becoming a concern, as well as targets with reduced signatures (remember that these missiles aren't due to enter service until the mid-2020s at the earliest). While modern AMRAAMs, etc can see right through many types of ECM, they won't always have a high pK, so it's important to be able to fire enough missiles (simultaneously or sequentially, I don't care) so that you regain the necessary aircraft killing capability.
Can you give an actual explanation why 12 missiles of comparable performance to the AIM-120 is not desirable over 6 AIM-120s?
>sending our aircraft into the blue with sixteen missiles and a salvo doctrine.
That's what we did in Vietnam though, and it worked. Learn some history. Firing a slavo of missiles at an enemy formation has always been an American thing, and was epitomized in the F-14. If you think 16 missiles is a lot, then look at the B1-R project.
Hey, that's me!!
I want submersible carriers because I can't think of any other way to safeguard carriers against ballistic missiles. Stealth planes, stealth carriers. Carriers are our most important assets.
I want a modern battleship that can practically never leave port and still provide fire support with its main battery.
And... I want spaceships.
AND ALL THOSE THINGS ARE UNBELIEVABLY COOL!!
And going even further, I support cooperative engagement using unarmed AEW and long-range SAMs as an alternative air defense scheme. For some situations, you don't even need fighters anymore.
I disagree with that. Certainly such a thing would be fantastic and would certainly lessen the need for a fighter, but fighters would also be necessary in this. Fighters allow you to better cover blind spots and react to attacks, as well as having a physical presence. Ideally, your SAM site locations shouldn't be known at all, but knowing there are birds in the sky is enough. Further, fighters can react to the enemy's concentrations more easily, and hit them in cases where the SAMs might not. And in this case, the fighters could run back to SAM cover if they need it.
I LOVE THE IDEA :D
I hope the military finds better explosives... comparing the explosives the military uses to nitroglycerin, or even TNT, it's kinda sad... I'm no expert though.
There has to be a way to get a stable explosive that's almost as powerful as nitro.
THESE MISSILES DON'T HAVE A WARHEAD??
For fucks sake they could probably fit twice the HE a 40mm grenade has in there without changing any dimensions!
I don't think relying SOLELY on kinetic impact is a good idea!!
A couple ounces of HE and an impact fuse would be better IMO
Because impact fuses might not be reliable, what about a "crumple fuse" that activated when the missile got deformed, confirming a hit?
There's no confirmation that they don't have a warhead. They're intended for hit-to-kill, but they could still have a small warhead.
That said, you don't add a warhead onto an air-to-air missile in order to damage it more, you add a warhead so that if your missile is going to miss by a few meters, the proximity warhead can fire shrapnel sideways and catch the aircraft.
If you can make a missile agile and accurate enough that you can almost guarantee an impact though, there's no need for a warhead, because ~100lb moving at 4 times the speed of sound is still going to blow a hole through the enemy, and even if they're not entirely destroyed, they're almost certainly not going to be able to continue their mission.
Is better to have a warhead and not need it, than need it and not have it.
What do you think of my "crumple fuse" idea?
I've got no idea how well modern fuses perform...
I admit I like throwing out weird ideas :)
It's not better to have a warhead if it means you can't fly far enough or be half the size of an AMRAAM though, which is the point of this missile.
As for crumple fuzes, it could work, but I'm not sure - the reason I say that is that these missiles are meant to be very tough; able to handle ~40x their own weight, etc. In addition, at the front of the missile is the camera / radar, which could be an issue.
As I was saying though, if you wanted a fuze for the missile, you'd want the primary fuze to be a radar/radio-based proximity fuze, with an impact or crumple fuze as a backup.
Yep - I can't remember if the AMRAAM does this or if this is just a new concept in testing, but some newer warheads are being designed to have directional warheads, where you basically have a set of energy-reflecting prisms around the warhead with fuzes attached to them. When you set off one or more fuzes on one side, there's a difference in the pressure on the casing and it causes the opposite side of the warhead to rupture, focusing the energy and projecting shrapnel further in a certain direction (for the same warhead size). Or all the fuzes can be set off for an omnidirectional effect with a regular blast / fragmentation range.
Here we are - I found the image I was thinking of - it's still only a concept / WIP, but could be applied to the SACM or new missiles (even newer versions of the AMRAAM).