Home' Defence Technology Review : DTR MAR 2015 Contents INNOVATIONS
DEFENCE TECHNOLOGY REVIEW | ISSUE 07 | MAR 2015
New sensor for Joint Strike Missile
BAE Systems Australia and Norway’s Kongsberg have
jointly developed a second independent sensor for the latter’s
Joint Strike Missile (JSM).
Finalising development of the passive radio frequency
(RF) sensor will shortly progress toward transition activities
leading to qualification and manufacture.
Coupled with the JSM’s imaging infrared sensor from
Kongsberg, the BAE Systems Australia RF sensor will permit
the JSM to acquire hostile radar emissions at extended range,
compute angle of arrival and perform geolocation and target
BAE Systems Australia will deliver a pre-production passive
RF sensor to Kongsberg in April 2015, with subsequent fit
checks on the JSM and system integration activities. Flight
testing of a so-fitted JSM will follow to demonstrate that the
new sensor provides the missile with the requisite
On 26 February, Norway and Australia announced an
agreement to co-operate on the development of JSM for both
nations, each set to acquire the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter.
A Norwegian Ministry of Defence statement said that
Norway and Australia have maintained a close dialogue for
several years regarding the JSM within the framework of
the multi-national F-35-partnership – the co-development
agreement taking the process “one step further”, with
Australia agreeing to provide expertise in missile control and
The Royal Australian Air Force is known to have shown
strong and ongoing interest in JSM as the future maritime
strike missile for its future force of F-35As, where it will likely
supplant the AGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missile.
– Matthew Mendenhall
JDAM Extended Range tested
Boeing Defence Australia (BDA) and the Royal Australian
Air Force (RAAF) have successfully tested the Joint Direct
Attack Munition Extended Range (JDAM ER), demonstrating
a 300 per cent increase in range.
Conducted at the Woomera Test Range in South Australia
and used in conjunction with the weapon’s guidance kit,
the new wing kit on the JDAM ER increased range from
approximately 24km to 72km whilst maintaining the required
accuracy, according to a BDA release.
At 227kg (500lb), JDAM ER was dropped from RAAF F/A-
18 Classic Hornet strike fighters from altitudes of 10,000ft
(3,048m) to 40,000ft (12,190m). Each weapon deployed its
wing kit successfully and flew to a pre-determined aim point,
impacting within metres of their respective targets.
Boeing will produce and integrate JDAM ER wing kits for
the RAAF under a 2011 contract award. Following additional
flight and certification testing, production and initial
deliveries of JDAM ER to the RAAF are planned for 2015.
BAE Systems Australia’s
passive RF sensor
(below) will augment
the already impressive
capabilities of the
Kongsberg Joint Strike
Image: BAE Systems
Testing has confirmed the JDAM ER wing kit extends range by
200 per cent. Image: Boeing
Airbus-DSTO develop hostile fire indicator
MILDS forward sensor heads installed on an NH90 helicopter.
Airbus Defence and Space and Australia’s Defence
Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) have
together developed an upgrade to the former’s proven
MILDS AN/AAR-60 Block II missile approach warning
system to enhance protection for wide-body aircraft and
The joint development program has added a hostile fire
indication (HFI) function to MILDS Block II that provides
reliable warning of threat small arms fire – a threat which
grows in prominence during low-level tactical flying.
The HFI function is predominantly software based and
requires no additional equipment for installation into host
aircraft. DSTO and Airbus have successfully tested the
HFI algorithms in field trials with “very good results”.
MILDS is a passive imaging sensor, detecting the ultra-
violet (UV) radiation signature of approaching missiles.
The sensor’s extremely high resolution combined with
rapid processing enables reliable threat identification
and virtually eliminates false alarms, according to an
Airbus statement. Four to five sensors provide optimum
coverage and rapid reaction.
As MILDS operates in the UV spectrum, it is not
subject to the limitations of other warning technologies
such as infrared. These features enable MILDS Block II
with HFI to detect small arms fire and well as incoming
More than 8,000 MILDS units are in service worldwide
on a variety of rotary and fixed-wing platforms, including
Tiger, NH90, CH-53, CH-47 and Mi-17 helicopters and
C-130 transport aircraft.
– Ian Bostock
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