Nov 19, 2013 17:40 UTC
Latest updates[?]: US & Britain place their FY 2014 missile order.
Trident II D5 Test Launch
Nuclear tipped missiles were first deployed on board US submarines at the height of the Cold War in the 1960s, to deter a Soviet first strike. The deterrence theorists argued that, unlike their land-based cousins, submarine-based nuclear weapons couldn’t be taken out by a surprise first strike, because the submarines were nearly impossible to locate and target. Which meant that Soviet leaders could not hope to destroy all of America’s nuclear weapons before they could be launched against Soviet territory. SLBM/FBM (Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile/ Fleet Ballistic Missile) offered shorter ranges and less accuracy than their land-based ICBM (Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile) counterparts, but the advent of Trident C4 missiles began extending those ranges, and offering other improvements. The C4s were succeeded by larger Trident II D5 missiles, which added precision accuracy and more payload.
The year that the Trident II D5 ballistic missile was first deployed, 1990, saw the beginning of the end of the missile’s primary mission. Even as the Soviet Union began to implode, the D5′s performance improvements were making the Trident submarine force the new backbone of the USA’s nuclear deterrent – and of Britain’s as well. To ensure that this capability was maintained at peak readiness and safety, the US Navy undertook a program in 2002 to replace aging components of the Trident II D5 missile called the D5 Life Extension (LE) Program. This article covers D5 LE, as well as support and production contracts associated with the American and British Trident missile fleets.
Continue Reading… »
Dec 03, 2012 19:43 UTC
Arms control treaties and other deactivations have left the USA with over 1,400 ballistic missile rocket motors in storage. The USAF’s Rocket Systems Launch Program looks at ways to reuse them for missile defense testing or spacecraft launches, examines the use of ballistic missile technology for a Conventional Strike Missile (CSM), and studies related technologies. RSLP has supported various technology development efforts for guidance and navigation systems; advanced reentry physics; avionics; Missile Technology Demonstration (MTD); Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) and Ballistic Missile Range Safety Technology (BMRST).
In December 2012, US Space & Missile Command’s Space Development and Test Wing issued 3 indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity, firm-fixed-price RSLP contracts, with up to $900 million in task orders to be competed among the winners:
Continue Reading… »
Jul 05, 2011 17:51 UTC
ATACMS from M270
Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control in Grand Prairie, TX receives a $145.5 million firm-fixed-price contract modification to produce 130 ATACMS Block 1A export version T2K “unitary guided missile launching assemblies.” In English, that’s 130 MGM-140 ATACMS missiles and their launch container, which fits on compatible vehicles like the tracked M270 MLRS and truck-based M142 HIMARS. An ATACMS pod replaces a pod of 6 x 227mm guided rockets with a GPS-guided missile that can travel over 150 miles, delivering a 500-pound WDU18 unitary warhead at hypersonic speed. Export models will have to comply with the Missile Technology Control Regime, which limits range to under 300 km/ 186 miles.
The sale country was not named in this release, but the contract manager indicates a Foreign Military Sale. In recent years, public FMS requests for ATACMS missiles have been announced by the US DSCA for Bahrain, the UAE, and Taiwan. Armored M270 MLRS carriers with ATACMS missiles were also recently positioned near the border by South Korea, who can now hold the capital of Pyongyang at immediate risk if North Korean artillery decides to target Seoul.
Work will be performed in Grand Prairie, TX; Horizon City, TX; and Lufkin, TX, with an estimated completion date of Oct 31/13. One bid was solicited, with one bid received by the U.S. Army Contracting Command at Redstone Arsenal, AL (W31P4Q-07-C-0302).
Aug 26, 2010 20:52 UTC
Guest article by Ian P. Wilson, Grant Thornton UK LLP
Given unprecedented fiscal pressures inherited by the new UK Government, there is an increasing recognition that the UK will have to reassess how it seeks to assert itself militarily. Given the poor condition of the country’s public finances, it is a widely-held view that the UK simply cannot afford to buy and support military assets to simultaneously project air, sea and land force capabilities on a global scale; nor can it expect to address several major conflicts while maintaining effective security at home.
As it proceeds with its promised 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR), the new UK Government faces the dilemma of having to fund a fundamental realignment and upgrade of the country’s defence and security infrastructure, whilst seeking to reduce a record fiscal deficit. Inevitably, priorities will have to be determined and certain programmes will face cancellation or curtailment…
Continue Reading… »