Home' Defence Technology Review : DTR DEC-JAN 2017 Contents 37
DEFENCE TECHNOLOGY REVIEW | ISSUE 27 | DEC/JAN 2017
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Another potential LRR candidate system may be the Saab-Boeing
Ground Launched Small Diameter Bomb (GLSDB), which conduct-
ed first firing trials in Vidsel, Sweden, during February 2015.
GLSDB combines Boeing’s SDB 1 250lb (113kg) class air-launched
munition with the M26 rocket motor from the Multiple Launch
Rocket System to provide a long-range precision fires weapon system
about to hit targets out to 150km and with 360° target engagement
Almost certainly, the manning requirement, let alone fiscal in-
vestment, for the LRR virtually kills off any prospect of a self-pro-
pelled howitzer procurement for the Australian Army under Land
17 being resurrected.
See also ‘Raytheon long-range SSM progresses’ in the September
2016 issue of DTR.
‘Saab-Boeing conduct first ground launch of SDB’ in the July 2015
issue of DTR.
Land 4100 Phase 2 : Like the LRR capability, the system selected
to fulfil the land-based ASM requirement will almost certainly be
MOTS. If an ASM does not exist in a canister-launched and/or a
truck-mounted configuration, the ADF is unlikely to be enthused
by the prospect of undertaking such customisation and integration
work to create a bespoke solution when there exists several land-
based ASM options that are available straight out of the box.
For the same reasons that the LRR capability can be expected to be
truck-mounted, so too will the land-based ASM system. Ditto C-17
deployability and ship-to-shore transport via LLC.
The acquisition of a land-based ASM may not, however, be as
straightforward as that of the LRR, as the RAN’s choice of a Har-
poon ASM replacement is likely to be a strong influence in the pref-
erence of missile for the land-based application.
In turn, the RAN’s choice of a Harpoon ASM successor will itself
launchers (firing the M270 series of 227mm rockets) mounted on
the US Army/USMC-standard FMTV 5 ton tactical truck.
By the time a source selection decision rolls around for the LRR
capability in the early to mid-2020s, the US Army would likely be
operating the latest iteration of its Army Tactical Missile System
(ATACMS), which fires the 610mm diameter MGM-140 missile.
With a range of around 300km, ATACMS is well suited to the role of
LRR and proven on operations (and therefore at Technology Read-
iness Level 9).
US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter announced on 28 October
that the US Army would upgrade ATACMS to enable it to strike
moving targets on land and at sea. This would enable ATACMS to
operate in both the land-based precision fires role and in the land-
based ASM role. The quintessential 2-for-1 deal perhaps.
According to the US Strategic Capabilities Office, ATACMS will
receive a new seeker head at the front of the missile to enable it to
strike moving targets on land or at sea with precision accuracy out
to around 300km. The seeker head to be used is already in service on
another weapon system.
In the background, however, the US Army is also planning a re-
placement for ATACMS with the Long Range Precision Fires (LRPF)
program. Both Lockheed Martin and Raytheon are known to be
gearing up to compete the LRPF contest, with the latter proposing a
missile with a higher flight speed and greater range than ATACMS
– around 500km. It will also be more affordable and survivable
against advanced threats and more compact, enabling a doubling of
the firepower per launch vehicle by doubling the missile launch pod
The US Army is expected to solicit LRPF proposals for a more
comprehensive technical maturation/risk reduction phase in
2017, followed by flight testing. The LRPF capability could be in
service by 2022.
ACCORDING TO THE US
OFFICE, ATACMS WILL RECEIVE
A NEW SEEKER HEAD AT THE
FRONT OF THE MISSILE TO
ENABLE IT TO STRIKE MOVING
TARGETS ON LAND OR AT SEA
WITH PRECISION ACCURACY
OUT TO AROUND 300KM
ABOVE: Rendering of the Exocet Mobile Coastal Defence
System. Image: MBDA
ABOVE RIGHT: The RBS15 Mk 3 is in service as a truck-mounted
ASM and surface-to-surface missile. Image: Saab
The newly-developed Ground-Launched Small Diameter Bomb
weapon system being test fired in Sweden in February 2015.
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