Raytheon Missile Systems has revealed that it is pushing ahead with development of an extended-range variant of its Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) to extend the coverage offered by the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS). A first AMRAAM-ER flight test is due before the end of this year.
Designed specifically for the ground-based air defence (GBAD) mission, the AMRAAM-ER missile will incorporate a new propulsion stack to improve kinematics to enable intercepts at longer ranges and higher altitudes.
“The new missile will be even faster and more manoeuvrable than the current AMRAAM,” said Mike Jarrett, Raytheon vice president of Air Warfare Systems. “By leveraging many existing AMRAAM components, Raytheon can deliver AMRAAM-ER quickly and affordably with very low risk.”
Raytheon will integrate the extended-range missile into the NASAMS launcher. Developed in partnership with Kongsberg Defence Systems, NASAMS is a short- to medium-range GBAD system that uses a surface-launched AMRAAM missile as its effector. The NASAMS system has been sold to seven customers to date, with more than 70 fire units delivered. Fielded in Norway for more than a decade, NASAMS is operationally deployed in the US National Capital Region, Spain, Finland, the Netherlands and in an undisclosed country. It is also in production for Oman under a contract received last year.
NASAMS uses a battle management, command, control, computers, communications and intelligence module to integrate a number of sensors and launchers.
Targets are detected and tracked by a high-resolution, 3D pencil beam radar; multiple radars and the associated fire distribution centres are netted together via radio data-links to create a real-time recognised air picture.