EDO’s AVEL Missile Ejection System: Extending the Raptor’s Claws

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F-22, showing us his(click to view full) EDO Corporation has been awarded a not-to-exceed, $17.2 million contract from Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company for continued production of its LAU-142/A AMRAAM Vertical Ejection Launcher (AVEL, pron. “ayy-vell”) for the F-22 Raptor. This latest order covers production for up to 24 Lot-6 aircraft, each of which is equipped with 6 AVEL launchers. Production Lot-6 will bring the total number of F-22 aircraft under order to 131, all of which are equipped with the AVEL. These aircraft are slated for delivery to the Air Force in 2008. AEL for YF-22(click to view full) EDO’s original AMRAAM Eject Launcher (AEL) for the YF-22 demonstrator was developed during the 1980s, and used a “trapeze” approach. The system was designed to maximize the F-22’s punch by giving it the ability to store its missiles in stealth-friendly internal bays. Nor would the launcher use explosives to achieve missile separation, as conventional launchers do. The new launchers had to: * Hold AIM-120C AMRAAM missiles securely within the bay as the aircraft undertakes maneuvers up to 9G. * Safely control and eject them fast enough to penetrate the air boundary layer as they make the transition from the quiet weapon […]

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