Update: Raytheon readies for initial flight test of baseline AMRAAM-ER design

by Robin Hughes

Raytheon Missiles & Defense (RMD) is expected to conduct the first flight test of its baseline surface-launched variant Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile-Extended Range (AMRAAM-ER) surface-to-air missile solution at the Andøya Test Center, Norway in the second quarter (Q2) of 2121.

Intended as the principal extended-range interceptor for the Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace (KDA)/Raytheon National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS), AMRAAM-ER is set to expand the NASAMS engagement envelope with a 50% increase in maximum range, and 70% increase in maximum altitude.

The baseline AMRAAM-ER design is a hybrid interceptor concept which marries the front end (radar homing guidance section, warhead) of an AIM-120C-7 AMRAAM with the back end (rocket motor and control section) of a RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM). This configuration was successfully demonstrated at the Andøya Test Center, Norway, in August 2016 – using the ESSM rocket motor – to prove the design concept.

“While valuable information was gleaned from the 2016 shot, the demonstration in 2016 was a more of a ‘concept demonstration’ rather than a flight test. There was no telemetry used in 2016 and the transition section utilised was a prototype, using pre-production hardware. The test successfully demonstrated that the design concept was feasible and worth pursuing,” a Raytheon spokesperson told Janes .

A baseline AMRAAM-ER surface-to-air interceptor is fired from a NASAMS launcher at the Andøya Test Center, Norway, in August 2016. Raytheon described the shot as “more of a ‘concept demonstration’ rather than a flight test” (Raytheon Technologies)

A baseline AMRAAM-ER surface-to-air interceptor is fired from a NASAMS launcher at the Andøya Test Center, Norway, in August 2016. Raytheon described the shot as “more of a ‘concept demonstration’ rather than a flight test” (Raytheon Technologies)

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Raytheon Missiles & Defense (RMD) is expected to conduct the first flight test of its baseline surfa...

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