$13.8M for AMRAAM & Sidewinder Launcher Components (updated)
Marotta Controls, Inc. in Montville, N.J., is being awarded a $13.8 million firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract for the production of up to 400 Pure Air Generating Systems (PAGS) for integration into the LAU-7 and LAU-127 missile rail launchers, special test equipment, and engineering and technical support services. Work will be performed in Montville, NJ and is expected to be complete in December 2007. This contract was competitively procured via an electronic request for proposals, and three offers were received by the Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River, MD (N00019-06-D-0019).
What’s a LAU-27? And what does a pure air generating system have to do with missile launches, exactly? We’ll start with the latter, as Marotta clarifies:
“Marotta’s M-PACT will supply the high-pressure compressed air required to achieve on-board cryogenic cooling of the infra-red missile seeker head. M-PACT is a complete pneumatic system comprised of three main components: a valve manifold with integral accumulator assembly, a miniature compressor, and an electronic controller designed by Marotta for this specific high-pressure pure air generating application.”
RIX Industries, located in Benicia, California, co-developed the M-PACT system and will be providing the compressor and drying elements.
Marotta adds that Boeing Company recently selected M-PACT for pneumatic weapon ejection on-board its new P8A-MMA Multi-mission Maritime Aircraft. M-PACT will supply the high-pressure compressed air to jettison the weapons from each weapon station. Marotta also has additional high-pressure pneumatic projects on the Small Diameter Bomb program and a variety of military applications such as high-pressure pneumatic cutting.
“It provides the electrical and mechanical interface between the missile and launch aircraft as well as the two-way data transfer between missile and cockpit controls and displays to support preflight orientation and control circuits to prepare and launch the missile. The launcher will also be capable of carrying and launching the AIM-9L/M SIDEWINDER missile.”
As infrared missiles, cooling for the Sidewinder’s seeker heads is a very important function. The LAU-7 launcher, meanwhile, fulfills the same role for AIM-9 Sidewinder short-range air-air missiles on a number of platforms.