Intercontinental Cans of Whup-Ass
Northrop Grumman Space and Mission Systems, Missile Defense Division in San Bernardino, CA received an $8,.7 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to investigate a concept for a conventional ballistic missile capable of destroying targets at global range in less than one hour flight time. Northrop Grumman will deliver: (1) a delivery vehicle parametric design study, (2) a mission/program planning study. It will be interesting to see how the latency issues are addressed in NGC’s studies.
At this time, all funds have been obligated. Solicitations began April 2007, negotiations were complete May 2007, and work will be complete June 2009. The Headquarters Space and Missile Systems Center in Los Angeles Air Force Base, CA (FA8814-07-C-0005).
In order to make maximum use of existing system elements and reduce the cost and development risk associated with a future acquisition, Northrop Grumman will make use of Orbital’s Minotaur rocket, and a delivery vehicle designed to carry and dispense multiple BLU-108B/B sensor fused weapons to the target area. DID has covered these BLU-108 “cans of whup-ass” before; they’re tuna-can shaped explosively-formed penetrators (EFP) with millimeter-wave sensors that use parachutes to spread out in the air, then fire downward through the thin top-armor of enemy vehicles to kill those in their coverage area.