New NCAD AIM-120 Has ASAT Capability Then Some

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posted on Apr, 1 2008 @ 07:57 AM
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In a recent report Raytheon, the manufacture of new NCAD AIM-120, reported that…


Raytheon officials say they haven't researched the ASAT mission and have no opinion about its feasibility. They do note that the AMRAAM derivative isn't as large or near as energetic as the Raytheon SM3 that shot down an errant NRO satellite earlier this year. However, they note that if launched at Mach 0.85 at 30,000-40,000, the new, 358-lb. missile becomes much more capable against objects at altitudes of 30 kms. or more.

Link


Basically like the SM-3 which was 'specially and only temporarily ' modified to shoot down the satellite (see 'we can do this anytime if need be in a shooting war') the NCAD AMRAAM will also be capable and ready to quickly provide LEO ASAT capability from virtually all major manned and unmanned aircraft in US service capable of carrying the missile.

A USAF general was much more to the point…


"If you put the missile in an F-22 and launch it at Mach 2 and 60,000 ft. while in a zoom and at a 45-degree angle, you've got an ASAT capability against spacecraft in low-earth orbit," he says.


This will allow current font line fighters to target theater tactical ballistic missiles in the boost stage immediately. It can also act as a longer range (NCAD has a larger second stage motor added for a significant increase in speed and range) IR A2A missile for going after aircraft. I also see no reason why it could not be used against SAM's as they are launched and en route to their target. I think, I could be wrong, that if that happens it would be the first time aircraft would have an anti missile capability against incoming SAM's.

More about the NCAD


Raytheon officials gave Aviation Week a look at the latest test video of the sensor capability of this new, air-launched, missile-defense weapon they're developing. The AMRAAM-derivative is called the NCADE for network-centric airborne defense element. For this test, smaller Aim-9 air-to-air missiles were used.

Two F-16s, each carrying an Aim-9 equipped with the NCADE's highly specialized infrared seeker, attacked 14-in. diameter target missiles over the White Sands Missile Range, N.M. The first missile grazed the missiles body and took off two fins. The second came within about a yard of the target missile, good enough to validate the system, says, Mike Booen, Raytheon's vice president of advanced missile defense. Future testing will involve the missile’s divert and attitude control system.



(Embedded Video)



For the present, NCADE is being developed as a boost-phase interceptor with seekers that can distinguish between the rocket plume and hard body from launch. That avoids inaccuracies or last minute course changes caused by seekers having to shift from the plume's heat as an aiming point to the much cooler target missile's body.

Booen says that Air Force planners are adamant that the missile be on forward deployed, manned fighters like the F-22. They bring up the frustration in the 1991 Gulf War when pilots could see Scuds ascending, but had no way to attack them.


Other Links

NCADE
AIM-120 AMRAAM

On top of the efforts spearheaded by the Missile Defense Agency, we now have two (NCADE/SM-3) multi-mission flexible and relatively cheap missiles. They will be produced in large quantities and will be able to attack aircraft, ballistic missiles and LEO satellites without major modifications.

And I'd like to point out that the GBI and all other current and planned large interceptors capable of targeting ICBM's far beyond LEO also have an inherent ASAT capability.

[edit on 1-4-2008 by WestPoint23]




posted on Apr, 1 2008 @ 08:58 AM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23
This will allow current font line fighters to target theater tactical ballistic missiles in the boost stage immediately.


Nah.

That is marketing speak boyo.


It would never have enough stored energy to make a decent fist of ASAT interception.

It would be similar to the F-15s vs. the SR-71. Sure, in one very specific instance, it might make an interception. But a one degree shift of the target's vector and its goodbye, seeya later.




I'm not even sure if it could catch a ballistic on boost phase either. Unless its fired unfeasibly close to the launch site itself or along the exact missile flight path.

Whats the range on a 120D? 100nm? (say 200km?) @ Mach 4? (roughly 1000 -1200m/s at altitude)

@ 200km range, thats 2.5 minutes from off the rail to the IRBM launch point.



The old US Jupiter MRBM had peak acceleration rates of 13g!

Being conservative, say average of 3g here -> so after 2.5 mins, the IRBM or whatever can be going 4000+ m/s (probably not, it will approach Vmax at around 3000m/s I'd reckon), can have an altitude of around 300km and still picking up speed (going to be less because of flight trajectory and max speed - but still upwards of 150km easy).

Sorry, but no AIM-120 is EVER going to catch that.




[edit on 1/4/08 by kilcoo316]



posted on Apr, 1 2008 @ 09:04 AM
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Besides, what orbits at under 100 km?


The KeyHoles and Lacrosse's are 300+ miles up, and they are probably as low as anything else in orbit.



posted on Apr, 1 2008 @ 12:18 PM
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Originally posted by kilcoo316
It would never have enough stored energy to make a decent fist of ASAT interception.


Umm... this is an enhanced AMRAAM, and if launched in a zoom climb at high speed it has a LEO capability, similar to what the F-15 launched ASAT missile displayed in the 80's. Sorry but you don't have the information necessary to dismiss it outright, I'm sure you would have said the same for the SM-3.


Originally posted by kilcoo316
I'm not even sure if it could catch a ballistic on boost phase either. Unless its fired unfeasibly close to the launch site itself or along the exact missile flight path.


It's meant to intercept tactical ballistic missile in the boost/ascent stage, and yes it is meant to be fired from airborne assets pretty close the launch point. As I said above the motor stage of this missiles has been enhanced, your calculations are not correct as we don't yet have accurate figures.


Originally posted by kilcoo316
Sorry, but no AIM-120 is EVER going to catch that.


Ok. If only those responsible for that program had read this post.



posted on Apr, 1 2008 @ 03:07 PM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23
Umm... this is an enhanced AMRAAM,


Ooohhhh, its enhanced is it?


Chuck every other weapon in the inventory out then





Originally posted by WestPoint23
and if launched in a zoom climb at high speed it has a LEO capability,





Start thinking for yourself before taking every word from a press release as fact.



Originally posted by WestPoint23
similar to what the F-15 launched ASAT missile displayed in the 80's. Sorry but you don't have the information necessary to dismiss it outright,


The AIM-120 is around 150kg.

The ASAT was around 1200kg.


The ASAT has nearly 10 times the internal volume of the AIM-120.



Rocket propulsion has not moved on that much - NASA are going back to the Saturn go forward. As I said, not enough stored energy.




Originally posted by WestPoint23
I'm sure you would have said the same for the SM-3.


Erm, no. You might actually want to look back on my posts on that. I indicated the satellite shootdown was an ABM test dressed up.

I would hardly state that if I didn't think the SM3 was up to it.









Originally posted by WestPoint23
It's meant to intercept tactical ballistic missile in the boost/ascent stage, and yes it is meant to be fired from airborne assets pretty close the launch point.


It would have to be fired from within 50km (or along the flight path) I reckon to catch an IRBM.

Against a developed air defense, that is going to be difficult.




Originally posted by WestPoint23
As I said above the motor stage of this missiles has been enhanced, your calculations are not correct as we don't yet have accurate figures.




The AIM-120 is simply not big enough to get the job done.


No amount of words from a salesman are going to change that.




Originally posted by kilcoo316
Sorry, but no AIM-120 is EVER going to catch that.


Ok. If only those responsible for that program had read this post.


They know rightly - but they sell it to the gullible.



posted on Apr, 1 2008 @ 05:25 PM
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I'm going to make a brief cameo appearance in this debate to just ask the question: How, exactly, would you propose to locate, target, and identify a satellite in orbit around the earth, even from 60,000 feet from

virtually all major manned and unmanned aircraft in US service capable of carrying the missile
, particularly when the example officially used is of the highest-performance jet that there currently is? It just seems to me that taking the conceptual ability of the top aircraft and assuming it will apply to all aircraft capable of carrying the missile is a bit of an extension without sufficient proof to back it up.

[edit on 4/1/2008 by Darkpr0]



posted on Apr, 2 2008 @ 12:26 AM
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Just a few thoughts.

Darkpr0, what about the X-Band radar system in Alaska providing cuing for the F-22's?

For that matter, the AESA radar is supposed to have 100+ mile range so its not that far fetched that if the fighter got cues to be within the correct arc of the radar, a satelite in LEO could be tracked?


Also with the aircraft launching at 60+ thousand feet (or Higher as we do not kknow what the real celing is on the raptor) and the capacity of the Aim-120 shoul dbe able to get it in the vicinty. However, Im more interested and curious about how it would be controlled once out of the atmosphere.



posted on Apr, 2 2008 @ 12:51 AM
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Originally posted by FredT
Darkpr0, what about the X-Band radar system in Alaska providing cuing for the F-22's?

For that matter, the AESA radar is supposed to have 100+ mile range so its not that far fetched that if the fighter got cues to be within the correct arc of the radar, a satelite in LEO could be tracked?


Actually, to be honest I have no real doubts that the F-22, given adaptations for this mission role, could accomplish it. But it was clearly stated that virtually all major manned and unmanned aircraft would be capable of it also. Does this imply the F-15 could do it? Maybe. The F-16? Could be. The AV-8B? The F-4? Now, I'm I know that last one's a bit absurd, but the point I'm putting forth is that is a huge claim to make with no real evidence behind it. The OP posted a source which claimed that the F-22 could do this, which I can believe. The OP then extended this to virtually all aircraft capable of mounting the missile. Now, I don't know much about the NCAD AIM-120's capabilities, but I'd still like to know how the F-22 being able to do something accounts for the others instantaneously being able to do it as well.

As well, It occurs to me that although knowing where the satellite is is no problem, I want to know how you'd identify it and achieve the missile intercept. 1) The aircraft was not designed to track satellite-class spacefaring craft, 2) the missile is not designed to intercept satellite-class spacefaring craft, 3) there's a lot of crap in Earth orbit in addition to that satellite. With modifications I accept the possibility, but you've also raised an excellent point. How does one propose to direct the missile outside of the atmosphere? I concede that thrust vectoring is capable of this, but that required the missile to be burning, and that's a long time to be burning fuel. It's made more complicated by the fact that just lowering the burn rate might not work because the missile must fight gravity.

Just a collection of nonsense from that thing... With the cerebrum. And the cerebellum. And the voices.


[edit on 4/2/2008 by Darkpr0]

[edit on 4/2/2008 by Darkpr0]



posted on Apr, 2 2008 @ 01:56 AM
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The Aim-120D wont work in that high an atmosphere because they need air to burn for its ramjet. The D version is the longest range, so they would need a considerable amount of redesign to make it able to intercept something in space with the current Aim-120 body



posted on Apr, 2 2008 @ 02:31 AM
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well its called the NCADE - with an E on the end



NCADE


NCADE is an AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) that adds the infrared seeker from Raytheon's AIM-9X air-to-air missile, and also adds a second-stage rocket motor from Aerojet [GY]. The rocket motor will use an advanced hydroxylammonium nitrate monopropellant thruster; its improved performance and high-density packaging should allow lighter, higher-velocity missiles. Hydroxylammonium nitrate is also less toxic and easier to handle than other propellants, and could eventually enable safe shipboard operation. Despite the addition of the second-stage propulsion, the NCADE missile is still the same size as an AMRAAM.


www.defenseindustrydaily.com...

so its an AMRAAM with an IR seeker and a rocket booster.



posted on Apr, 2 2008 @ 03:26 AM
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Originally posted by Harlequin
so its an AMRAAM with an IR seeker and a rocket booster.


Do you have any dimensions?. Very intesting



posted on Apr, 2 2008 @ 03:31 AM
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I have to side with Kilcoo on this one. There is no way in the world that you could use an AMRAAM, even with a new booster on it, to target LEOs. Most are well above 80 miles in altitude (in fact, from what I've found on the web, the first band of asynchronous orbits is between 80 - 1200 miles, with a typical altitude of 300 - 600 miles). And as for the speed and altitude, you won't see too many aircraft in a 45 degree climb, 60k and Mach 2. I'd be impressed if even the Raptor could do this.

As for targeting ballistic missiles, this is certainly more plausible, but again bloody difficult. There is a very small window of opportunity in the boost phase. Not impossible, but not simple by any definition of the word.

I usually accuse the Russian gunrunners of overstating their capabilities. I have to say that this seems to be Raytheon marketing at its best!



posted on Apr, 2 2008 @ 03:35 AM
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something which has been really ignored is what Raytheon themselves say about this system:


NCADE is an air-launched weapon system designed to engage short- and medium-range ballistic missiles in the boost and ascent phase of flight. NCADE provides an interim or near-term solution to boost or ascent phase threats.


www.raytheon.com...

So The manufacturer of the weapon clearly say it is for Short and Medium range assests - it is NOT for Intemediate or Continental range weapons.


the apogee of a short range rocket is actually below 60,000 feet - so this is feasable - but it is not for LEO or otherwise ; you can`t argue when the people making it say its not for that role.

[edit on 2/4/08 by Harlequin]



posted on Apr, 2 2008 @ 09:00 AM
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Originally posted by kilcoo316
Ooohhhh, its enhanced is it?
Chuck every other weapon in the inventory out then.


Or we could just chuck out asinine comments and proceed with the topic at hand.

This is what I was referring to.


NCADE (Network Centric Airborne Defense Element) is a program to develop an air-launched anti-missile interceptor missile using AMRAAM components. The NCADE missile replaces the AIM-120's radar seeker with the IIR (Imaging Infrared) seeker of the AIM-9X Sidewinder, and changes the propulsion system to a two-stage rocket. The latter consists of an AIM-120 first stage and a new Aerojet second stage, which can provide a thrust of 0.55 kN (125 lb) for more than 25 seconds. NCADE's airframe, flight control system and aircraft interface are essentially the same as on the AIM-120, making the missile immediately compatible with many existing launch platforms.



Originally posted by kilcoo316
Start thinking for yourself before taking every word from a press release as fact.


You have more information then the General in question making the claim? The point that he mentions is very specific and limited, disregard it outright all you want.


Originally posted by kilcoo316
It would have to be fired from within 50km (or along the flight path) I reckon to catch an IRBM.

Against a developed air defense, that is going to be difficult.


Your figures aside, IRBM's would be an the extreme spectrum of its capabilities, it's made primarily for tactical ballistic missiles. It will be carried by the F-22 so it should be able to carry out its function.


Originally posted by Darkpr0
How, exactly, would you propose to locate, target, and identify a satellite in orbit around the earth, even from 60,000 feet from...


The US can track virtually all objects in space and launching an aircraft to release the missile in a pre-determined point in space so that it's seeker can take over and target the satellite is possible. The F-15's fire control system and US space radar capability was able to do it in the 80's much less now.


It was launched by an F-15 in a high-altitude supersonic climb. The F-15's computer was updated with special guidance algorithms, and the head-up display was also modified to provide additional steering cues to the pilot. This was necessary, because the zoom-climb and missile release had to be flown exactly as calculated to get the missile near the target satellite.



Originally posted by Darkpr0
It just seems to me that taking the conceptual ability of the top aircraft and assuming it will apply to all aircraft capable of carrying the missile is a bit of an extension without sufficient proof to back it up.


You're right; I misspoke. The ASAT capability in this instance is being credited only to the F-22 in a specific flight profile. The capability against tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, aircraft etc… would apply to all aircraft capable of carrying the current AMRAAM.


Originally posted by chinawhite
Do you have any dimensions?


The dimensions are the same as the current AMRAAM.


Originally posted by Harlequin
…it is NOT for Intemediate or Continental range weapons.


Who stated otherwise?


Originally posted by Harlequin
…the apogee of a short range rocket is actually below 60,000 feet - so this is feasable - but it is not for LEO or otherwise ; you can`t argue when the people making it say its not for that role.


The Scud was mentioned in the article so I'll take that as the standard subject. But apogee does not really matter as it was designed to go after targets in the boost/ascent stage not when they reach apogee.


Originally posted by Willard
And as for the speed and altitude, you won't see too many aircraft in a 45 degree climb, 60k and Mach 2. I'd be impressed if even the Raptor could do this.


From pilot comments (Dozer) in particular and exercise results Raptors routinely fly at or above 60K (self limit of 63K due to not having a pressure suit in case of ejection) at supersonic speeds, in level flight mind you. Also, I still have a comment from Dozer talking about a vertical climb in the F-22, (no zoom 45 degree angle) which mentions being at Mach 1.5 and leveling out around 63K.



posted on Apr, 2 2008 @ 09:42 AM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23

Originally posted by Harlequin
…it is NOT for Intemediate or Continental range weapons.


Who stated otherwise?


you did first post


the NCAD AMRAAM will also be capable and ready to quickly provide LEO ASAT capability from virtually all major manned and unmanned aircraft in US service capable of carrying the missile



this missile will NOT be a LEO ASAT` weapon.


Originally posted by WestPoint23

Originally posted by Harlequin
…the apogee of a short range rocket is actually below 60,000 feet - so this is feasable - but it is not for LEO or otherwise ; you can`t argue when the people making it say its not for that role.


The Scud was mentioned in the article so I'll take that as the standard subject. But apogee does not really matter as it was designed to go after targets in the boost/ascent stage not when they reach apogee.


no but it coasts to the apogee - which as i said is below the flight profile for this mission type - a point which you missed.



posted on Apr, 2 2008 @ 10:01 AM
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Originally posted by Harlequin
you did first post

"the NCAD AMRAAM will also be capable and ready to quickly provide LEO ASAT capability from virtually all major manned and unmanned aircraft in US service capable of carrying the missile"


Where in there do you see "Intemediate or Continental range weapons"?
Something else which I posted... "This will allow current font line fighters to target theater tactical ballistic missiles in the boost stage immediately."

I still see no mention of intermediate or continental range weapons.


Originally posted by Harlequin
this missile will NOT be a LEO ASAT` weapon.


It's not primarily made to be a LEO ASAT weapon, the question is does it have an inherent capability, given certain parameters, to act in such a role.


Originally posted by Harlequin
no but it coasts to the apogee - which as i said is below the flight profile for this mission type - a point which you missed.


What? Apogee does not matter at all in this discussion.



posted on Apr, 2 2008 @ 10:24 AM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23

Originally posted by Harlequin
you did first post

"the NCAD AMRAAM will also be capable and ready to quickly provide LEO ASAT capability from virtually all major manned and unmanned aircraft in US service capable of carrying the missile"


Where in there do you see "Intemediate or Continental range weapons"?
Something else which I posted... "This will allow current font line fighters to target theater tactical ballistic missiles in the boost stage immediately."

I still see no mention of intermediate or continental range weapons.


so where did the statement of `LEO` come from? short and medium range weapons go no where near space - so where did that statement of yours come from?

i am merely quoting your first post - if you wish to contradict yourself then thats up to you.


Originally posted by WestPoint23

Originally posted by Harlequin
this missile will NOT be a LEO ASAT` weapon.


It's not primarily made to be a LEO ASAT weapon, the question is does it have an inherent capability, given certain parameters, to act in such a role.


no it will not - the manufacturer of the weapon say so - so unless you know something they dont - your wrong.


Originally posted by Harlequin
no but it coasts to the apogee - which as i said is below the flight profile for this mission type - a point which you missed.


What? Apogee does not matter at all in this discussion.

what? apparantly you again have missed the point - the apogee - or highest point in the ballisitc arc is below the height that the shooting aircraft will be firing from.



posted on Apr, 2 2008 @ 10:33 AM
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Originally posted by Harlequin
space - so where did that statement of yours come from?


The LEO reference was always in relation to satellites, not intermediate range or intercontinental range ballistic missiles. Last time I checked the two are entirely different systems.


Originally posted by Harlequin
i am merely quoting your first post - if you wish to contradict yourself then thats up to you.


You're attempting to attribute something to me when I clearly said no such thing.


Originally posted by Harlequin
no it will not - the manufacturer of the weapon say so - so unless you know something they dont - your wrong.


The manufacturer of the weapons has simply stated what it was primarily designed to do. They never clearly stated it has no anti satellite capability (potential) whatsoever. This falls perfectly in line with the discussion.


Originally posted by Harlequin
the apogee - or highest point in the ballisitc arc is below the height that the shooting aircraft will be firing from.


What are you talking about, you're making no sense to me. Please elaborate and explain this scenario of yours.

[edit on 2-4-2008 by WestPoint23]



posted on Apr, 2 2008 @ 11:10 AM
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so hypothetically (as thats what your saying) this weapon *could* be used to shoot objects in space; so by that theory of yours - any air launched missile could be used that way.

but - as others have shown that won`t happen - and the maker have said it won`t.

end of really.

and attribute something you did not say? - name then , any ballisitc misssile system which goes into space then, that is not of short or medium range.


do you understand what a ballistic arc is, the apogee point , launch, boost, (accent) midcourse, and decent phases are?



posted on Apr, 2 2008 @ 12:41 PM
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Originally posted by Harlequin
so by that theory of yours - any air launched missile could be used that way.


No, not at all, I have no theory my views are based on the capabilities of this missile and comments from both Raytheon and a senior USAF general with regards to anti satellite capability.


Originally posted by Harlequin
but - as others have shown that won`t happen - and the maker have said it won`t.


With great respect for Kilcoo and anyone else who commented on the matter I hardly think we are in a position to definitely say with absolute certainty. Also, please provide me a source where Raytheon specifically says that this missile has no anti satellite capability or potential; and yes I highlighted specifically for a reason.


Originally posted by Harlequin
and attribute something you did not say?


You're still on this? I never claimed this missile had any capability against IRBM’s or ICBM’s when they are in space. Only that is could have a LEO anti satellite capability. That was as plain from post one as it is now, why you still insist on complicating this point is beyond me.

Also, please don't attempt to change the subject and question or ridicule my intelligence, I know perfectly well what those terms stand for. What I still have yet to understand however is what you were talking about for the last couple of posts with regards to this topic.





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