NetFires Issues Missile Container & Warhead Contracts
After an extensive competition among numerous composite material design and manufacturing companies, the Raytheon/Lockheed joint venture NetFires LLC has selected the team of SPARTA Composites, Inc. and San Diego Composites (SDC) as the missile launch/shipping container provider for the NLOS-LS “NETFIRES” Precision Attack Missile (PAM). The SPARTA/SDC container will be built, assembled and tested at the SPARTA facility in San Diego, CA, and the estimated contract value is expected to be in excess of $8 million during the system design and demonstration (SDD) phase of the program alone. Meanwhile, General Dynamics has picked up the contract to be the PAM warhead provider.
What is NETFIRES, and why are these contracts important to the program?
DID covered NETFIRES, and some of Lockheed’s recent design & cost-saving innovations for that program, in a recent article. NETFIRES will be a compact, networked set of precision attack missiles that are launched vertically from a self contained launcher called the Container Launch Unit (CLU) that can be loaded onto Hummers or trucks, carried and simply dropped of in the field by helicopters, or mounted on naval platforms like the Littoral Combat Ship. One significant and demanding design element of the CLU is a lightweight concentric canister that not only serves as the launch container for the missile, but also the shipping and storage container. This is the preliminary contract that SPARTA/SDU has just won.
NetFires LLC also selected General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems to be the warhead provider for NLOS-LS Precision Attack Missile (PAM), following an eight-month competition among warhead manufacturers. The GD-OTS warhead will be built, assembled and tested at the General Dynamics facility at Niceville, FL, and the estimated contract value is expected to be in excess of $70 million over the life of the program
The PAM missile was developed under a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) NetFires program, and has successfully conducted numerous flight tests. NLOS-LS is currently in the system development and demonstration phase, and in 2004 the Army accelerated fielding of the Raytheon PAM and CLU to the Army’s Evaluation Brigade Combat Team. Spin Out 1 is now scheduled for FY 2008.