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U.S. Air Force Continues Gray Wolf Low-Cost Cruise Missile Effort

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While the U.S. Air Force said this month that it had, for the first time, flight tested collaborative weapons under the service’s Golden Horde program–one of three service Vanguard efforts, the Air Force is also pursuing a scaled-down Gray Wolf low-cost cruise missile prototype.

More than two years ago, the Air Force Research Laboratory’s (AFRL) Gray Wolf program consisted of four spiral-development phases to develop and field a $100,000 cruise missile that could act in swarms to defeat enemy air defenses. Plans called for multiple options from decoy to electronic attack to long range high-explosive warheads against peer adversaries.

Lockheed Martin  [LMT] and  Northrop Grumman [NOC] held five-year, $110 million contracts to develop the missile, to be tested first on F-16 fighters and compatible with F-35, F-15, F-18, B-1, B-2 and B-52 aircraft. But the Air Force decided two years ago to shift funds away from the Lockheed Martin proposal to kick start Golden Horde.

Due to lack of a funding for spirals two through four, AFRL narrowed the scope of the effort to Northrop Grumman’s involvement in spiral one, and the latter is to finish in the coming months.

Last year, the Air Force said that the Gray Wolf TDI-J85 turbojet engine by Kratos ‘ [KTOS] Michigan-based Technical Directions, Inc. (TDI) had a series of flight tests with “multiple inflight windmill starts and operation at high altitude.” In June, an F-16 from the 416th Flight Test Squadron at Edwards AFB, Calif., also conducted a captive carry flight test of the missile.

“Our current effort will flight test the Northrop Grumman air frame and TDI engine but no additional work is funded,” per an email from AFRL’s Gray Wolf program manager, Maj. Adam Corley, and James Sumpter, AFRL’s WeaponONE program manager.

WeaponONE is using artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML)-aided digital twins to improve the performance of Gray Wolf.

“Spiral 1 [of Gray Wolf] demonstrates the design and manufacturing capabilities required to build a low cost cruise missile,” per Corley and Sumpter. “It pulls together various technologies such as a low-cost turbine engine, composite manufacturing for the body, and low cost sub-components to deliver a missile with a low cost and conduct a successful flight test.  Subsequent spirals would have added collaborative functions via radios and software changes to demonstrate a swarm of 4-6 missiles with collaborative flight behaviors and, lastly, the final spiral was to add various payload packages making the Gray Wolf adaptable to any mission requirement.”

The Gray Wolf program used AFRL’s Weapon Open System Architecture “to make the payload bay open with available power and space for any number of payload options,” Corley and Sumpter wrote. “While Spiral 1 will not incorporate a payload, the system can be adapted to carry warheads, submunitions, sensors, collaborative radios, Electronic Warfare or Electronic Attack packages, or a combination of these payloads.”

For its part, Golden Horde is to integrate datalink radios and demonstrate the ability of a “swarm” of networked weapons systems “to collaborate to decrease target error and defeat targets while adapting to changes in the field,” AFRL said. “The program is to mark a change from the typical pre-designated missions of weapon systems to missions using a Playbook of set plays under defined Rules of Engagement.”

Last month, the Golden Horde program marked a signature event, as an F-16 released two Collaborative Small Diameter Bombs (CSDBs) in what the Air Force called the first-ever flight demonstration of collaborative weapons ( Defense Daily , Jan. 7).

At least two other flight tests are likely this year.

The CSDBs use technology developed by AFRL and California-based Scientific Applications and Research Associates, Inc. (SARA), which received a $100 million contract for CSDB-I in 2019. As part of Golden Horde, Georgia Applied Research Corp. (GTARC) also received an $85 million contract for a Collaborative Miniature Air-Launched Decoy (CMALD) in 2019.

AFRL plans called for a collaboration this fall between CSDB-I and CMALD to defeat simulated targets, but AFRL recently decided not to pursue that demonstration but to shift toward a more generic approach that does not feature specific weapons in keeping with congressional concern about Golden Horde being too mature a program to receive science and technology (S&T) funding.

CSDBs are 250-pound  Boeing [BA] GBU-39 Small Diameter Bombs modified with a collaborative autonomy payload to locate and prioritize targets. AFRL said that, during last month’s CSDB test flight, the two CSDBs “quickly established communication with each other and their seekers detected a GPS jammer.”

“During the mission, the weapons referred to pre-defined Rules of Engagement (RoEs), a set of constraints preloaded by a mission planner, and determined that the jammer was not the highest priority target,” AFRL said. “The weapons then collaborated to identify the two highest priority targets. However, due to an improper weapon software load, the collaboration guidance commands were not sent to the weapon navigation system. Without the updated target locations, the weapons impacted a fail-safe target location.”

While the weapon software load failed, the flight demonstration of CSDB marks “an important step on the path to Networked Collaborative Weapon systems,” Chris Ristich, director of AFRL’s Transformational Capabilities Office (TCO), said in a statement.

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AFRL & Industry team successfully demonstrates first ever 200-lb thrust class low-cost engine

Eglin AFB, FL – The Air Force Research Laboratory working with Northrop Grumman and Technical Directions Inc. (TDI) recently tested a first-of-its-kind, low-cost turbojet engine under the low-cost cruise missile program known as Gray Wolf. The TDI-J85 engine underwent a successful flight test campaign culminating in multiple inflight engine starts and operation at high altitude. The engine met performance expectations for thrust and surpassed fuel efficiency expectations. The engines tested accumulated sufficient inflight operating time, building confidence in the design durability. The engine design focused on affordability and manufacturability, which enables increased production. Test results proved the engine capability. It is the first engine in its class and price point to successfully operate at altitude. With the success of this test, AFRL is one significant step closer to launching a low cost cruise missile.

Gray Wolf is an Office of Secretary of Defense (OSD) directed prototype production and demonstration of low-cost cruise missile. These low-cost cruise missiles will offer a stand-off solution with a variable payload capability, meaning the missiles are designed to cruise for distances greater than 250 nautical miles and can accommodate multiple mission profiles. Additionally, the program explored using multiple Gray Wolf missiles in a networked swarm to meet an evolving warfighter mission requirement.

“The success of this test greatly increases our confidence in the performance of the engine and weapon systems as a whole. Developing the TDI-J85 engine in parallel to the cruise missile has proved challenging, but the collaborative partnership between AFRL, TDI, and Northrup Grumman has been outstanding.” – Col Garry Haase, AFRL/RW Director

AFRL and our partners will utilize the recent flight test data to integrate the TDI-J85 engine into the Gray Wolf Flight Test vehicles. As part of the weapon system integration and demonstration phase, the team will modify and verify the interfacing operating software, perform captive flight test, and conduct a missile release test to demonstrate the low cost cruise missile concept.

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Gray Wolf Underwing Mount (Photographer-Mr. David Kidd, 96th TW Multimedia Support Services)

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Special operations outlook 2019 digital edition is here, dod successfully transitions low-cost cruise missile technologies to programs of record.

By DOD News Release - March 17, 2021

low cost miniature cruise missile

A Raytheon Coyote UAS during a test flight. Raytheon photo

The Department of Defense announced today that the multi-year Low-Cost Cruise Missile (LCCM) Joint Capability Technology Demonstration (JCTD) project successfully transitioned three primary technologies to programs of record or development projects.  The LCCM JCTD was initiated to advance a decentralized autonomy module for low-cost, conventional, collaborative cruise missiles; the integrated management team developed a new air vehicle and launcher, an autonomy software module, and a jam-resistant datalink.

The air vehicle, the Coyote Block III, was improved and the launcher was developed with Raytheon Missiles & Defense; the autonomy software module with the Georgia Tech Research Institute; and the datalink with L-3 Harris.

In the final operational demonstration in 2020, multiple cruise missiles were pneumatically launched in a matter of minutes. The swarm of LCCM vehicles then dynamically reacted to a prioritized threat environment while conducting collaborative target identification and allocation along with synchronized attacks.

“This successful transition shows the great value of the JCTD program,” said Jon Lazar, acting director of prototypes & experiments.  “By working closely with our industry partners and combatant command operators, we delivered needed capabilities that will enhance the warfighter’s ability to accomplish their missions.”

The Coyote Block III air vehicle is the baseline for numerous follow-on activities and programs within the Navy, Air Force, and Army.  The autonomy module transitioned to the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Vanguard Program, Golden Horde, and will transition to the Marine Corps Long-Range Unmanned Surface Vehicle Program of Record and MITRE’s Simulation Experiments along with several Air Force and Navy spiral development programs.  The jam-resistant datalink also transitioned to the Golden Horde program, along with several spiral development programs.

The JCTD office provided project oversight, and Air Force Research Laboratory Munitions Directorate (AFRL/RW) provided technical management and overall technology integration. Flight tests and operational demonstrations were flown in 2018 and 2019 at the Yuma Test Proving Grounds, Arizona. In the final operational demonstration in 2020, multiple cruise missiles were pneumatically launched in a matter of minutes. The swarm of LCCM vehicles then dynamically reacted to a prioritized threat environment while conducting collaborative target identification and allocation along with synchronized attacks. The LCCM project also enabled significant improvement in understanding the relationship between communications and autonomy in collaborative vehicles.

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Defense Department Successfully Transitions New Technology to Programs of Record

The Department of Defense announced today that the multi-year Low-Cost Cruise Missile (LCCM) Joint Capability Technology Demonstration (JCTD) project successfully transitioned three primary technologies to programs of record or development projects.  The LCCM JCTD was initiated to advance a decentralized autonomy module for low-cost, conventional, collaborative cruise missiles; the integrated management team developed a new air vehicle and launcher, an autonomy software module, and a jam-resistant datalink. 

The air vehicle, the Coyote Block III, was improved and the launcher was developed with Raytheon Missiles & Defense; the autonomy software module with the Georgia Tech Research Institute; and the datalink with L-3 Harris. 

“This successful transition shows the great value of the JCTD program,” said Jon Lazar, acting director of prototypes & experiments.  “By working closely with our industry partners and combatant command operators, we delivered needed capabilities that will enhance the warfighter’s ability to accomplish their missions.”

The Coyote Block III air vehicle is the baseline for numerous follow-on activities and programs within the Navy, Air Force, and Army.  The autonomy module transitioned to the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Vanguard Program, Golden Horde, and will transition to the Marine Corps Long-Range Unmanned Surface Vehicle Program of Record and MITRE’s Simulation Experiments along with several Air Force and Navy spiral development programs.  The jam-resistant datalink also transitioned to the Golden Horde program, along with several spiral development programs.

The JCTD office provided project oversight, and Air Force Research Laboratory Munitions Directorate (AFRL/RW) provided technical management and overall technology integration. Flight tests and operational demonstrations were flown in 2018 and 2019 at the Yuma Test Proving Grounds, Arizona. In the final operational demonstration in 2020, multiple cruise missiles were pneumatically launched in a matter of minutes. The swarm of LCCM vehicles then dynamically reacted to a prioritized threat environment while conducting collaborative target identification and allocation along with synchronized attacks. The LCCM project also enabled significant improvement in understanding the relationship between communications and autonomy in collaborative vehicles. 

About OUSD(R&E) 

The Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering is responsible for the research, development, and prototyping activities across the Department of Defense.  OUSD(R&E) fosters technological dominance across the DoD ensuring the unquestioned superiority of the American joint force.  Learn more at www.cto.mil or follow us on Twitter:  @DoDCTO.

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AFWERX sets sights on low-cost cruise missile

AFWERX set a new challenge for future low-cost cruise missiles, with a 500 nautical mile range, high subsonic speed, at $150,000 per unit.

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The US Air Force Research Laboratory announced 5 January that the AFWERX military innovation centre has launched the Weapons Program Executive Office (PEO) Design Sprint and Challenge initiative, focused on developing advanced weapons technologies and strategies, with a low cost cruise missile as its first development goal. 

The inaugural Weapons PEO Challenge involves designing an enterprise test vehicle to be the foundational architecture for future low-cost cruise missiles, with a 500 nautical mile range, high subsonic speed, and a cost target of $150,000 per unit for bulk orders, according to Cayley Dymond, AFWERX Challenge team lead. 

The Challenge is part of AFWERX’s broader initiative of over 50 challenges, aiming to connect innovative solutions to the Department of the Air Force’s needs.

Teams participating in the challenge are also tasked with enhancing weapons capacity and ensuring affordable, mass delivery. The solutions must be scalable and accessible to partner nations and allies.

The Design Sprint featured experts from various institutions, including Sandia National Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Labs, Georgia Tech Research Institute, and Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.

“AFWERX provided the guidelines of the meeting structure and logistics support to ensure a streamlined execution of our event; it made it really easy as an organizer for this government event to show up and know that everything logistically was taken care,” said Hartley Postlethwaite, a participant from the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.

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“The support that was most interesting was the artist and thoughts that came from the AFWERX facilitator. By the end of each day, AFWERX was able to provide a graphic poster that summarized each day’s activities and decisions.”

The next phase of the Weapons PEO Challenge will occur in early 2024, focusing on accelerating the testing and deployment of advanced weapons, developing a family of systems, and establishing a manufacturing test bed for on-demand production concepts.

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Air Force’s Gray Wolf Program Tests Game-Changing Small Low-Cost Jet Engine

The Air Force funded the development of the engine as part of a project to develop low-cost cruise missiles, but it could have wider applications.

U.S. Air Force photo

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The U.S. Air Force says it has completed a round of tests of a first-of-its-kind small, low-cost turbojet engine. The experiments were part of a program called Gray Wolf , which has focused heavily on the demonstration of technologies that could enable the development of cheaper cruise missiles. The engine could also power other future expendable air-launched systems or unmanned aircraft .

A TDI-J85 engine from Technical Directions Inc. (TDI), a division of drone maker Kratos, powered an expendable test article from Northrop Grumman during the test flights. The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), which is responsible for the Gray Wolf effort, released a picture of an F-16 Viper fighter carrying the flight vehicle, which also bears the logo of Griffon Aerospace , along with its announcement on Mar. 19, 2020. AFRL first revealed Gray Wolf in 2017 and hired both Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin to supply testbed systems for the program in December of that year. 

"The success of this test greatly increases our confidence in the performance of the engine and weapon systems as a whole," U.S. Air Force Colonel Garry Haase, the head of AFRL's Munitions Directorate, abbreviated AFRL/RW, said in a statement. "Developing the TDI-J85 engine in parallel to the cruise missile has proved challenging, but the collaborative partnership between AFRL, TDI, and Northrop Grumman has been outstanding."

message-editor%2F1584730425592-test-article.jpg

The TDI-J85 is 200-pound-thrust-class turbojet that weighs just 28 pounds. For comparison, the Williams F107 turbofan engine, which powers the AGM-86B Air-Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM) and variants of the Tomahawk Land Attack Cruise Missile, is in the 600-pound-thrust-class and weighs around 67 pounds.

message-editor%2F1584729771272-tdi-j85.jpg

"The TDI-J85 engine underwent a successful flight test campaign culminating in multiple inflight engine starts and operation at high altitude. The engine met performance expectations for thrust and surpassed fuel efficiency expectations," AFRL news release said. "The engines tested accumulated sufficient inflight operating time, building confidence in the design durability."

"The engine design focused on affordability and manufacturability, which enables increased production. Test results proved the engine capability," it continued. "It is the first engine in its class and price point to successfully operate at altitude."

AFRL did not give a unit price for the TDI-J85. As of 2014 , each F107 was around $190,000. 

message-editor%2F1584729813141-logo.jpg

TDI has been working on small jet engine technology, including for cruise missiles, since the 1980s . In 2013, it received almost $1.5 million from the Air Force for work specifically on "Low-Cost Propulsion System for Smart Munitions." That contract ran through 2016, the year before the Gray Wolf program, which you can read about in more detail in this past War Zone story , began.

Low-cost, fuel-efficient engines have been a core focus of the program, primarily to help drive the overall cost of individual air-launched cruise missiles. In its most recent budget request for the 2021 Fiscal Year, the Air Force said that the average unit price across its purchases of both AGM-158A Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) and AGM-158B JASSM-Extended Range (JASSM-ER) was approximately $1.266 million. 

Needless to say, this kind of unit price makes traditional large scale cruise missile attacks an especially expensive proposition. The Air Force's plans to network such munitions together in the future to act together in swarms requires the ability to launch even greater numbers of weapons all at once or in coordinated waves for maximum effect. 

Beyond simply helping to reduce costs, improved fuel efficiency could also translate into greater range for weapons without having to increase the total amount of fuel they carry, something that could be invaluable in the future as the range of hostile air defense threats continues to increase . With an engine such as the TDI-J85, the fuel load could also be reduced to make room for larger warheads or other payloads , without sacrificing existing range. 

At present, the Air Force says it is aiming to demonstrate an experimental low-cost cruise missile design that can "cruise for distances greater than 250 nautical miles." This is roughly equivalent to the JASSM's range, but significantly shorter than that of the JASSM-ER or future AGM-158D JASSM-Extreme Range (JASSM-XR), as well as of the AGM-86B ALCM and Tomahawk.

The improved engines also wouldn't be limited to powering air-launched cruise missiles, either. Engines such as the TDI-J85 could help propel a new generation of other expendable systems, including decoys , as well as unmanned aircraft.

The Air Force's future plans for the Gray Wolf program are not entirely clear. In June 2019, the service announced that it was canceling additional phases it had planned to carry out and would be transitioning work on networked swarming munitions to a different project, dubbed Golden Horde, which you can read about more in this past War Zone piece . 

message-editor%2F1584730124381-graywolf.jpg

Even if Gray Wolf does wrap up soon, it's very likely that work on the potentially game-changing TDI-J85 will continue as part of other efforts. As noted, TDI has already been working on cost-effective and fuel-efficient engines, including for cruise missiles, under contract from the U.S. military for decades now. 

No matter what happens, the Air Force has clearly made important progress toward developing potentially game-changing low-cost cruise missiles, achievements that will likely impact the development of other systems in the future.

Contact the author: [email protected]

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Opinion A nuclear weapon in space is absurd. This is an arms race to nowhere.

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On Feb. 16, President Biden chose his words carefully about U.S. intelligence reports of a possible Russian nuclear-armed antisatellite weapon in space. “There is no nuclear threat to the people of America or anywhere else in the world,” he said, adding that such a weapon has not been deployed. Left unsaid: It would pose an enormous danger to satellites upon which billions of people rely.

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President Vladimir Putin sometimes boasts about new and exotic weapons systems. Not all of them exist, nor will they. But the latest controversy is a reminder that such boasts can become reality. New weapons and technology often lead to arms races, tension and instability.

A nuclear-armed antisatellite weapon is a lunatic idea, as has been clear for decades. On July 9, 1962, a then-secret U.S. missile test hurled a nuclear warhead into space from a Pacific atoll. The 1.4-megaton warhead detonated at an altitude of about 250 miles. It caused streetlight blackouts in Hawaii, about 900 miles away, and emitted a huge plume of high-energy electrons that became trapped in Earth’s magnetic field, damaging at least eight satellites in orbit. The United States and the Soviet Union subsequently agreed to ban nuclear tests in the atmosphere and space in 1963 and outlawed placing nuclear weapons in orbit in 1967.

Today, there are more than 8,200 satellites in low Earth orbit, many privately owned and operated. A Russian nuclear weapon in space could disrupt communications for everything from global shipping to combat communications in Ukraine. It would threaten all satellites, including Russia’s.

In a 2018 speech , Mr. Putin displayed a video of what he described as a nuclear-powered cruise missile that might travel thousands of miles at low altitude without refueling. The missile was reportedly the cause of a 2019 explosion at a Russian navy range on the White Sea; last year, Mr. Putin announced that development was complete, although little else is known. Another reported new Russian weapon, Poseidon, is an underwater drone driven by nuclear power and carrying a nuclear warhead that could cause panic and fear if deployed in a coastal harbor.

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Meanwhile, China is rapidly and significantly expanding its nuclear arsenal, expected to reach 1,000 warheads by the end of this decade. (Under the New START accord, Russia and the United States are each limited to 1,550 deployed strategic or long-range warheads through 2026.) China is also pursuing other types of sophisticated weapons . In 2007, it used an antisatellite missile fired from the ground to smash apart a defunct weather satellite, leaving more than 3,000 pieces of traceable space debris, of which more than 2,700 remain in orbit. Most will continue orbiting Earth for decades, according to the Pentagon. China’s ground-based ASAT system is intended to target low Earth orbit satellites. In 2021, China/it also tested the first fractional orbital launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile with a hypersonic glide vehicle. If deployed, it would use a missile to carry a bomb halfway around the world and then drop it with a speeding sled that might be impossible to stop.

In its report in October , the congressional Strategic Posture Commission concluded that the United States “will soon encounter a fundamentally different global setting than it has ever experienced” in the rise of two nuclear-armed peers, Russia and China, bent on disrupting and displacing the U.S.-led international order. Even though Russia’s resources are being drained by the invasion of Ukraine, and China’s economy is dragging, both seem capable and willing to use technology to probe for asymmetric weaknesses in the United States and perhaps unleash new arms races.

Technology drives weapons competitions. In the 1970s, the United States and Soviet Union developed multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles, or MIRVs, which allowed a single missile to carry up to 10 nuclear warheads, each aimed at a different target. This dramatically changed calculations about nuclear warfare. Other advances from the United States came rapidly: precision weapons, low-flying cruise missiles, stealth aircraft and super-accurate ballistic missiles. Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, realizing his economy was buckling under the cost of keeping up with the United States, turned to nuclear arms control agreements with President Ronald Reagan. But almost all those treaties have expired or been abandoned.

The United States now faces not one but two rivals in Russia and China; competition with them will be necessary, difficult and costly. Mr. Putin’s war of aggression against Ukraine makes arms control negotiation nearly impossible — he cannot be trusted — and China has refused to talk about limits on nuclear weapons. Still, at the very least, extension of the New START accord beyond 2026 with Russia and starting talks with China would be in everyone’s interest. In the long term, arms control treaties might again be needed to contain the dangers, not only of nuclear weapons but also of armaments in cyber, disinformation or something entirely new.

The Post’s View | About the Editorial Board

Editorials represent the views of The Post as an institution, as determined through discussion among members of the Editorial Board , based in the Opinions section and separate from the newsroom.

Members of the Editorial Board: Opinion Editor David Shipley , Deputy Opinion Editor Charles Lane and Deputy Opinion Editor Stephen Stromberg , as well as writers Mary Duenwald, Shadi Hamid , David E. Hoffman , James Hohmann , Heather Long , Mili Mitra , Eduardo Porter , Keith B. Richburg and Molly Roberts .

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low cost miniature cruise missile

Both missiles use nose mounted canard control surfaces to effect a high turn rate at altitudes where air density permits the generation of high control forces. Fakel designers Bolotov and Mizrokhi cite 60G capability at sea level, and 20G at 30,000 metres, the latter using thruster control. This is required to effect a “hit-to-kill” endgame against ballistic and high speed aerial targets.

While the larger 9M96E2 is an almost direct equivalent in size and performance to the ERINT/PAC-3 round, its control arrangement is fundamentally different, both aerodynamically and in thruster arrangement. The 9M96E/E2 radial thruster package is located at the fuselage CoG, to generate a direct force to turn the missile, rather than producing a pitch/yaw moment to use body lift to turn, as is the case in the ERINT/PAC-3 design. The sleeve mounted tail surfaces are mechanically decoupled from the fuselage in roll, to minimise thruster induced rolling moments.

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S-400 and Legacy Surface to Air Missile System Hybridisation

Production and exports, further development, s-400 technical data, s-400 battery components, almaz-antey 5p90s/se self propelled transporter erector launcher.

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Almaz 5p90tmu towed transporter erector launcher, almaz 5p85tm/te2 towed transporter erector launcher.

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Almaz 22T6-2/22T6E2 Transloader

5t58-2 missile transporter.

Almaz 55K6E Command Post

Almaz 92N6E Grave Stone Engagement Radar

NIIIP 91N6E Big Bird Acquisition Radar

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LEMZ 96L6-1/96L6E Acquisition Radar

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Almaz 1T12 Site Survey Vehicle

S-400 operational deployment, pvo unit 61996 elektrostal' february, 2010.

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PVO Unit 61996 Elektrostal' December, 2010

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92N6E Grave Stone / MZKT-7930

Ukraine needs A-10 Warthogs and cruise missile platforms – top military commander

Kyiv urgently requires more military aircraft such as A-10 Warthogs and long-range cruise missile carriers, Commander of Ukraine’s Ground Forces Col. Gen. Oleksandr Syrskyi said in an interview with Reuters on Jan. 12.

Read also: Russian military ships anywhere in the world are legitimate targets says Ukrainian Naval Commander

“I would talk about A-10s as an option if they'll be given to us ... this is not a new machine, but a reliable one that has proven itself in many wars, and which has a wide array of weapons for destroying land targets to help the infantry,” said Syrskyi.

He explained that the A-10 would provide crucial close air support to ground forces. "It is for destroying land-based targets: tanks, artillery ... everything that counters the infantry," he added.

The general said that modern attack helicopters could also play a significant role in allowing Kyiv to break the stalemate on the battlefield and continue pushing Russian forces from southern and eastern Ukraine.

In terms of how the fight is looking now, he said that Russian forces were advancing in several sections of the front, while Ukrainian forces were conducting small counterattacks.

Read also: No significant increase in Russian concentration on Kharkiv front - Ukraine’s military

"This is active defense when we are not just sitting on the defensive but constantly counterattacking, and in some directions switching to the offensive,” the general said.

Read also: Insufficient Russian forces in Belgorod for renewed Kharkiv offensive, says governor Synehubov

In addition to calls for more aircraft, Ukraine has requested that its allies expedite the delivery of artillery ammunition, which some units have complained is in short supply.

Read also: Fortification construction active in Ukraine, but no immediate threat, says Ukrainian army – photo

When asked about a potential turning point in the war in favor of Ukraine, Syrskyi commented, "I think there are always chances; you just need to find them and use them."

He added that Russia cannot possibly have built robust defenses everywhere along the front line, and that Ukraine has to identify and exploit weak spots in enemy fortifications.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine

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IMAGES

  1. UK Orders Production of MBDA’s SPEAR Mini-Cruise Missile

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  2. SPEAR Mini-Cruise Missile Getting An Electronic Warfare Variant To

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  3. SPEAR Mini-Cruise Missile Getting An Electronic Warfare Variant To

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  4. SPEAR Mini-Cruise Missile Getting An Electronic Warfare Variant To

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  5. Estes

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  6. UK Orders MBDA SPEAR Mini-Cruise Missile

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COMMENTS

  1. Low Cost Miniature Cruise Missile

    The Low Cost Miniature Cruise Missile (LCMCM) is a Lockheed Martin program to develop a small, affordable cruise missile which will fit inside the internal weapons bay of the F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II. Specifications. Length: ~144 in. Weight: ~1000 lbs; Range: 750-1000 miles;

  2. The Navy Wants A Cheap Long Range Cruise Missile

    The U.S. Navy has asked industry about the possibility of making a long-range air launched cruise missile up to 10 times cheaper than current missiles. ... Fiscal 2027 in both high numbers and at ...

  3. USAF Wants Swarms of Cheap "Gray Wolf" Cruise Missiles That Can

    The U.S. Air Force has hired Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman to develop experimental low-cost cruise missiles that can act as a swarm in order to better navigate through or overwhelm enemy defense networks. As part of the project, nicknamed Gray Wolf, the service also wants a modular weapon that can readily accept updates and upgrades, as ...

  4. U.S. Air Force Continues Gray Wolf Low-Cost Cruise Missile Effort

    More than two years ago, the Air Force Research Laboratory's (AFRL) Gray Wolf program consisted of four spiral-development phases to develop and field a $100,000 cruise missile that could act in swarms to defeat enemy air defenses. Plans called for multiple options from decoy to electronic attack to long range high-explosive warheads against ...

  5. NAVAIR Spike

    Spike was designed by the U.S. Navy, with assistance from DRS Technologies, and is proclaimed to be "the world's smallest guided missile." Initially made to be carried by U.S. Marines, with three missiles and the launcher able to fit in a standard backpack, it weighs 5.4 lb (2.4 kg), is 25 in (640 mm) long, and 2.25 in (57 mm) in diameter.

  6. Special Operations Command Wants Tiny Cruise Missiles With Hundreds Of

    The SGM has a range of around 20 miles, or one-tenth of the minimum range of this proposed mini-cruise missile. This new weapon would also out-range the Small Diameter Bombs (SDB) that AC-130s can carry, which have a maximum range of about 50 miles, but likely less at the heights and speeds AC-130s fly at. While the size of the weapon was not ...

  7. AFWERX Launches Initiative for Low-Cost Cruise Missile Development

    CONFLICTS. ANALYSIS. In response to the disproportionate cost of countering cheap drones and missiles, the US Air Force (USAF) initiates a groundbreaking program, led by AFWERX, to develop affordable and mass-production-friendly cruise missiles. The move mirrors adversarial tactics, with a focus on countering advanced air defense systems.

  8. Raytheon Wins $375M Contract For Miniature Self-Defense Missile For Jets

    U.S. Air Force jets will defend themselves with a pint-sized new weapon designed to take out anti-aircraft missiles before they get too close. Raytheon has been awarded the contract with delivery ...

  9. Gray Wolf Missile Design

    Data-Informed Decisions. Dan Salluce, Northrop Grumman program manager for Gray Wolf, says that the current design emerged from a previous Low Cost Cruise Missile (LCCM) study sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to explore the effectiveness and viability of developing a small, affordable, network-enabled ...

  10. Lockheed, Northrop to prototype modular 'Gray Wolf' cruise missiles

    Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman each secured $110 million contracts to prototype and demonstrate a low-cost, subsonic "Gray Wolf" cruise missile for the Air Force Research Laboratory, out of a pool of seven companies. "The contract provides for the design, development, [manufacturing] and testing of prototype-affordable cruise missiles to ...

  11. AFRL & Industry team successfully demonstrates first ever 200-lb thrust

    These low-cost cruise missiles will offer a stand-off solution with a variable payload capability, meaning the missiles are designed to cruise for distances greater than 250 nautical miles and can accommodate multiple mission profiles. Additionally, the program explored using multiple Gray Wolf missiles in a networked swarm to meet an evolving ...

  12. Lockheed Martin to build Gray Wolf cruise missile for USAF

    The US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) has awarded a $110m Phase I contract to Lockheed Martin to develop and demonstrate a new low-cost, subsonic cruise missile, Gray Wolf. According to the AFRL requirements, the missiles will be designed to be able to feature networked, collaborative behaviours (swarming) that would help address ...

  13. DOD Successfully Transitions Low-Cost Cruise Missile Technologies to

    The Department of Defense announced today that the multi-year Low-Cost Cruise Missile (LCCM) Joint Capability Technology Demonstration (JCTD) project successfully transitioned three primary technologies to programs of record or development projects. The LCCM JCTD was initiated to advance a decentralized autonomy module for low-cost ...

  14. Defense Department Successfully Transitions New Technology to Programs

    The LCCM JCTD was initiated to advance a decentralized autonomy module for low-cost, conventional, collaborative cruise missiles; the integrated management team developed a new air vehicle and ...

  15. Surveilling Miniature Attack Cruise Missile

    The Surveilling Miniature Attack Cruise Missile (SMACM) is a long range, high endurance, expendable, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) under development by Lockheed Martin. It is equipped with a two-way datalink and is designed to reconnoitre a target area and if necessary engage targets with its weapon system. Specifications. Weight: 142 lb

  16. USAF tests engine for Gray Wolf low-cost cruise missile

    20 March 2020. USAF tests engine for Gray Wolf low-cost cruise missile. by Robin Hughes . The US Air Force (USAF) has tested a new low-cost turbojet engine to power air-launched cruise missiles ...

  17. Low Cost Cruise Missile Defense

    Low Cost Cruise Missile Defense. ... the LCCMD program has focused on the development of low cost seekers for use on a modified version of the Miniature Air Launched Decoy (MALD).

  18. Small, Low Cost, High Perforamnce Engine for Miniature Munitions

    Successful demonstration of engine performance will provide the Air Forcewith an engine capable of meeting requirements for a Low-Cost Mini Cruise Missile such as the planned USAF Miniature Munition. This program will yield a heavy-fueled propulsion system for smaller cruise missiles with a significant improvement in TSFCover existing turbojets.

  19. AFWERX sets sights on low-cost cruise missile

    AFWERX set a new challenge for future low-cost cruise missiles, with a 500 nautical mile range, high subsonic speed, at $150,000 per unit. Andrew Salerno-Garthwaite January 8, 2024. Share this article. AFWERX has initiated a challenge to develop a low-cost cruise missile. Credit: US DoD.

  20. Air Force's Gray Wolf Program Tests Game-Changing Small Low-Cost Jet Engine

    The U.S. Air Force says it has completed a round of tests of a first-of-its-kind small, low-cost turbojet engine. The experiments were part of a program called Gray Wolf, which has focused heavily on the demonstration of technologies that could enable the development of cheaper cruise missiles.The engine could also power other future expendable air-launched systems or unmanned aircraft.

  21. Ukraine and Houthi Drones and Missiles Are Changing Naval War

    Navies will have to adapt to an era in which low-cost drones and missiles can take out lumbering carriers and destroyers. March 3, 2024 at 12:00 AM EST. By James Stavridis.

  22. Opinion

    In a 2018 speech, Mr. Putin displayed a video of what he described as a nuclear-powered cruise missile that might travel thousands of miles at low altitude without refueling. The missile was ...

  23. S-400 missile system

    The S-400 Triumf (Russian: C-400 Триумф - Triumf; translation: Triumph; NATO reporting name: SA-21 Growler), previously known as the S-300 PMU-3, is a mobile surface-to-air missile (SAM) system developed in the 1990s by Russia's NPO Almaz as an upgrade to the S-300 family of missiles. The S-400 was approved for service on 28 April 2007 and the first battalion of the systems assumed ...

  24. Almaz-Antey 40R6 / S-400 Triumf

    The third and fourth missiles are in effect equivalents to the ERINT/PAC-3 interceptor missile recently introduced to supplement the MIM-104 in Patriot batteries, but designed to also engage low and medium altitude aerial targets. These are the 9M96E and 9M96E2, largely identical with the latter version fitted with a larger powerplant.

  25. Ukraine needs A-10 Warthogs and cruise missile platforms

    Kyiv urgently requires more military aircraft such as A-10 Warthogs and long-range cruise missile carriers, Commander of Ukraine's Ground Forces Col. Gen. Oleksandr Syrskyi said in an interview with Reuters on Jan. 12. Read also: Russian military ships anywhere in the world are legitimate targets says Ukrainian Naval Commander "I would talk about A-10s as an option if they'll be given to ...

  26. Ukrainian expert Romanenko on Russian cruise missiles threatening Kyiv

    This is a purely Russian development; it began in the 2000s and was generally adopted in 2010.". The Kh-101 is a "descendant" of the Kh-55 and Kh-555. It has become Russia's primary cruise missle, while the older Kh-55 and Kh-555 are sometimes used as decoys. The Kh-101 has a range of 5,500 kilometers and incorporates stealth technology ...