Among the new air
defense systems currently under development, the new Stunner
missile is one of the future 'game changing' systems, promising
to introduce unprecedented cost, flexibility and agility to
air and missile defense technology.
Addressing the growing asymmetric threat of short range ballistic
missiles and large caliber rockets, Raytheon
and Rafael are jointly developing a new interceptor designed
to meet this capability gap with the Stunner, an affordable,
flexible and effective 'hard-kill' defense. The missile was
unveiled for the first time in the USA, by Raytheon. (more...)
The missile is designed to engage missile and rocket threats
with ranges of 70 - 200 km. The new system will establish a
lower tier below the IAI Arrow 2 missile, which extends the
defensive capability to longer range and higher altitude. Known
as 'Magic Wand' this program will be managed by the Israel Missile
Defense Organization (IMDO), which already supervises Israel's
ballistic missile defense program.
The Stunner uses a multi-pulse rocket motor, agile
steering systems and combined EO/RF seeker, providing high sensitivity
under all weather conditions and low vulnerability, immune to
deception and countermeasures, facilitating effective 'hit-to-kill'
maneuverability at relatively low cost. Using a 'fire and forget'
operating concept, Stunners will engage targets along threat
trajectories, requiring minimal cueing from sensor resources,
ensuring high rate of fire, even during saturation attacks.
Further optimizing the Stunner system's performance, the missile's
in-flight update will provide real-time retargeting. These elements
are particularly important to provide Stunner with clear overmatch
on any threat, specifically in complex, hit-to-kill endgame.
The missile will utilize a booster designed by
ATK, a multi-mode seeker and multi-pulse rocket motor, developed
by RAFAEL. The system could rely on the IAI/Elta Green Pine
missile warning radar or the company's new Multi-Mission Radar
(MMR), which is also considered for the short-range rocket defense
system, also developed by Rafael. The missiles could be used
as 'stand alone' systems, using canister, rail launchers or
rely on Patriot units, using common container/launchers and
battle management systems. By integrating with existing air
defenses, Stunner will be able to dramatically improve the survivability
of air defense systems, protecting strategic facilities from
attacks by short or medium range ballistic missiles and minimize
collateral damage from debris.
different weapon system from Raytheon addresses close-in protection
against asymmetric threats, using the Laser Area Defense System
(LADS). Raytheon is developing this capability to expand the
defended footprint and complement kinetic energy system capabilities
(such as the Centurion CIWS). The system will also provide effective
response against unmanned systems and sensors and could augment
ship defense with effective countermeasures against floating
mines and multiple small explosive boats. The LADS' effector
uses a beam director replacing the 20mm Phalanx gun. The beam
director is linked to a commercially available 20kilowatt fiber-laser
produced by IPG Photonics. The system is powered by a diesel
generator. During the system demonstration phase conducted in
2006, LADS destroyed static 60mm mortar bombs at a range of
more than 550 meters.
Other topics covered in this review:
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