Tuesday, August 4, 2020

U.S. Air Force selects Raytheon to develop aircraft self-defense missile

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The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory has given the green light for Raytheon Co. Missile Systems, to start research and development of a flight-test ready miniature self-defense missile.

The Department of Defense announced on Tuesday an agreement worth about $375 million for a mini-missile interceptor designed to protect military aircraft from incoming missiles.

Work will be performed in Tucson, Arizona, and is expected to be completed by October 2023.


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The advanced technology of Miniature Self-Defense Missiles (MSDM) will give the U.S. and allies an edge in the skies. The miniature self-defense missile is an active protection system that can intercept and shoot down enemy air-to-air missiles with surgical accuracy and minimal collateral damage.

The miniature missile would help to counter advanced long-range missiles both of which could engage vulnerable support aircraft such as airborne early warning & control platforms and tankers.

Eglin spokeswoman Jasmine Porterfield stated previously that: “The MSDM program objective is to provide the capability to kinetically defeat enemy threats to aircraft in [anti-access, area-denial] environments.”

Also, Air Force officials said that the MSDM will support miniaturized weapon capabilities for air superiority by enabling close-in platform self-defense and penetration into contested A2/AD environment with little to no impact to payload capacity.

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Executive Editor

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