also known as Complementary Low Altitude Weapon System (CLAWS) offers effective defense against the
low-flying cruise missile and the unmanned aerial vehicle. The
system is already deployed with the Norwegian army, the Spanish
army and has recently been acquired for the US Army and marine
Corps. The system concluded the developmental testing phase in
SLAMRAAM can also integrate with other assets, such
as Hawk, Patriot or sea based Aegis units, to provide an effective
protection against all types of delivery means, from ballistic
missiles, cruise missiles, asymmetric aerial threats and unmanned
The system utilizes distributed architecture, for improved
survivability and support of multiple, simultaneous engagements,
the Surface Launched – (SL) AMRAAM provides close range as well as
Beyond Visual Range intercept capability under all weather
conditions, day and night. AMRAAM can effectively engage cluster
targets, and employs an all aspect look-down seeker to overcome
contracts were awarded to Raytheon to supply SLAMRAAMs to the U.S.
Army and U.S. Marine Corps.
The system configuration uses common elements, comprising of the
missile launcher, mounted on a Hummer; a new Integrated Fire
Control Station (IFCS) which will be netted to the Sentinel radar;
the Army’s future Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense
Elevated Netted Sensor system (JELNS) and the Marine Corps’ future
Multi-Role Radar System.
The new missiles will increases the number of
firing channels per battery, and introduce an effective defense
against cruise missile threat.
The standard missile launcher operated by the
Norwegian army, carry six AMRAAM missiles protected in a
containers. A universal launcher carries six AMRAAM missiles, or
three HAWKs. It is also equipped with a datalink which
communicates with the missiles on during their flight, with
mid-course target updates. The mobile Hummer launcher carries four
to six missiles. A mobile version utilizes a six missiles
launcher, carried on a light tactical vehicle such as the Hummer.
A firing unit is also equipped with the AN/MPQ-64 Sentinel radar
and Fire Distribution Center (FDC).
A typical "Family of Systems"
architecture was recently tested during the system's development
testing phase, engaging surrogate cruise missile targets. The
system included the TPS-59 radar and AN/TYQ-23 Tactical Air
Operations Module, which provide the large volume air picture.
Close air picture and tracking data were provided by the Thales
Raytheon Systems MPQ-64 Sentinel Radar. Command and control, with
air picture and track correlation, was performed by the Marine Air
Defense Communications Platform updated with the Raytheon Solipsys
Multi-Source Correlator Tracker and Tactical Display Framework.
The CLAWS launcher provides Fire control and facilitates the
AIM-120 AMRAAM missile launch. In a test conducted Nov. 22, 2005
the CLAWS system successfully engaged six targets. According to a
Raytheon press release, the system achieved all test objectives
during the three days of firing. The test marked the completion
development testing, paving the way for the system's fielding
In October 2006 Raytheon announced the
completion the development of software upgrades for the ground
launched AMRAAM missile system, demonstrated the system in test
firing conducted in partnership with the Spanish Army and the U.S.
Air Force. Among the new capabilities added to the system are
command destruct/self destruct (CD/SD) capabilities, improving the
missile's capability of intercepting cruise missiles and other
unmanned targets, over urban terrain. The CD/SD capability
provides greater flexibility in the employment of Surface Launched
AMRAAM (SL-AMRAAM) while engaging cruise missile and unmanned
aerial vehicle threats. The capability helps mitigate collateral
damage when used in a surface launch role within an urban
environment. Additionally, CD/SD software provides the capability
of a programmable self-destruct to help reduce fratricide. These
successful tests concluded more than 24 months of work on the
Software Upgrade Program 2006 for AMRAAM.
Since May 2006 Raytheon demonstrated the missile's accuracy with
seven direct hits, during tests conducted with the Norwegian Air
Force. A more recent test, in association with the Spanish Army
and US Air Force, was conducted in Sweden in October, where three
missiles scored direct and instrumented hits, demonstrating the
new command destruct/self destruct capability (CD/SD).
The US Army is evaluating further
roles for the SLAMRAAM, including the use of an AMRAAM derivative
for missile defense. The Multi-service Extended Range Low-cost
Interceptor (MERLIN), could use a dual-stage boosted missile
designed to intercept and destroy unsophisticated cruise missiles
and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). Used as a low-cost, shorter
range complement to the AMRAAM missiles, which will be saved for
more difficult targets. Other missiles to be evaluated for this
role include the single-stage
Low Cost Interceptor (LCI), which is being developed as a
low-cost complement to the Patriot missile.
On May 26, 2006
Raytheon and Boeing announced the first delivery of an Integrated
Fire Control Station (IFCS) for the U.S. Army. Boeing is under
contract through 2007 to design and develop the system's IFCS.
The IFCS is the first of five to be designed and
developed by subcontractor Boeing. The program will now move
to integration at Raytheon's, to be followed by flight testing of
the integrated system.
In addition to its primary mission as
control center for teh SLAMRAAM, the IFCS can be networked to the U.S. Army's
Sentinel radar, the Army's future
Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor system under
development by Raytheon, the existing Patriot radar and the Marine
Corps' future multi-role Ground/Air Task Oriented radar system to
provide truly integrated fire control for the air defense battlespace.