Fort Campbell air warriors light up Oklahoma sky with C-RAM

Fort Campbell air warriors light up Oklahoma sky with C-RAM
A loudspeaker blared “incoming, incoming, incoming” and Soldiers immediately dropped to the ground. A Counter — Rocket, Artillery and Mortar gun whirred as the weapon system tracked the threat. A four-second burst from the Gatling-type gun filled the air with tracer fire. Then the 300 rounds crackled as they exploded looking like a fireworks show that created a wall of flack which intercepted and destroyed the incoming mortar. The Soldiers scrambled to their feet and headed toward a bunker.

This was the scene May 26, at Thompson Hill Range here as 60 air defenders from B Battery, 2nd Battalion, 44th Air Defense Artillery, from Fort Campbell, Ky., participated in a Counter — Rocket, Artillery and Mortar, known as a C-RAM, live fire. The live fire was part of their six-week pre-deployment certification to prepare them for C-RAM missions at outposts.

“The certification is going smooth. The group of Soldiers ahead of us took out every target that came toward them,” said Sgt. Orlando Rodriguez, B/2-44th, air and missile defense crewmembers team chief.

Instructors and contractors from D Battery, 2nd Battalion, 6th ADA, at Fort Sill conducted the training which is something they do about every nine months with deploying ADA units that are given the C-RAM mission, said trainer Sgt. 1st Class Kleber Soriano, D/2-6th ADA, academics section.

During the certification, the Fort Campbell short-range air defenders, who are a mix of Avenger missile crewmembers, air defense battle management system operators, and radar repairers, learn the C-RAM weapon system. The training culminates with about 10 days of live-fire training.

The biggest change from the Avenger system is learning the different procedures used by the C-RAM weapon system, Rodriguez said.

Raytheon contractor James Scott said the Avenger and C-RAM use similar electronics, but there is a different end process.

“It’s kind of like going from Microsoft to Apple,” he said.

One of the most challenging aspects of the certification is getting the gun crew and the engagement operations cell to communicate with each other, Soriano said.

“They need to learn how to work together and know what each other does,” he said.

Soriano emphasized that C-RAM is more than just an electric four-barrel gun that can fire 75 20mm high explosives rounds per second with a greater than 80 percent kill probability of mortar rounds.

Its layered network of counter-mortar radars can detect where mortars and rockets are coming from, he said. Soldiers can perform pattern analysis of the threats. This intelligence can be provided to, say, a forward operating base’s commander, who will then know where the threat is and how to address it.

Spc. Jason Campos, B/2-44th, air and missile defense crewmember, said he was looking forward to his first deployment, and using the C-RAM.

“After two years and three months, it’s really exciting for me,” he said.

Rodriguez said he believes his battery’s presence will definitely make a difference during deployment.

“I’m excited to get out there and help protect my team members from this enemy and indirect fire,” Rodriguez said.


Raytheon, US Navy Complete First Phase of RAM Block 2 Developmental Testing

By on Monday, June 3rd, 2013


The U.S. Navy completed the first series of developmental and operational testing (DT/OT) of Raytheon Company’s Rolling Airframe Missile Block 2.

In at-sea tests conducted from the U.S. Navy’s Self-Defense Test Ship, RAM Block 2 missiles engaged two targets in tactical dual-salvo scenarios designed to demonstrate the advanced missile’s defensive capabilities. The DT/OT tests successfully engaged high-speed, maneuvering and sub-sonic, maneuvering targets with all four RAM Block 2 missiles meeting test objectives.

“RAM Block 2′s success in these developmental tests follows the completion of a series of guidance test vehicle flight tests,” said Rick Nelson, vice president of Raytheon Missile Systems’ Naval and Area Mission Defense product line. “RAM Block 2′s increased kinematic capability and its advanced guidance system will continue to give the warfighter an unfair advantage in the fight.”

Raytheon and its manufacturing partner RAMSYS of Germany were awarded the second U.S. Navy RAM Block 2 low-rate production contact for 61 missiles in December 2012. In addition, as previously reported, the company received a $155.6 million Block 2 production contract for the German navy earlier this year.

The RAM Block 2 upgrade includes a four-axis independent control actuator system and an increase in rocket motor capability, increasing the missile’s effective range and delivering a significant increase in maneuverability. The improved missile also incorporates an upgraded passive radio frequency seeker, a digital autopilot and engineering changes in selected infrared seeker components.

RAM is a supersonic, lightweight, quick reaction, fire-and-forget missile providing defense against anti-ship cruise missiles, helicopter and airborne threats, and hostile surface craft. The missile’s autonomous dual-mode, passive radio frequency and infrared guidance design provide a high-firepower capability for engaging multiple threats simultaneously. RAM is installed, or planned for installation, aboard more than 165 ships as an integral self-defense weapon for the navies of Egypt, Germany, Greece, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and the United States.

  • Extremely high reliability resulting from years of development, testing and design improvements.
  • Four-axis independent control actuator system with increased rocket motor capability.
  • Upgraded passive radio frequency seeker, a digital autopilot and improved infrared seeker.

Raytheon Company, with 2012 sales of $24 billion and 68,000 employees worldwide, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, security and civil markets throughout the world. Raytheon is headquartered in Waltham, Mass.

Northrop’s SABR ‘well positioned’ to clinch USAF F-16 radar upgrade effort

Northrop Grumman says that its Scalable Agile Beam Radar (SABR) is “well positioned” to secure contracts to upgrade US Air Force and Taiwanese Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcons with a new active electronically scanned array (AESA) system despite a recent loss to rival Raytheon in South Korea.

“The US Air Force and Taiwan are working hand-in-hand together,” says Joseph Ensor, Northrop’s vice president for its targeting systems division. “They’re a separate programme from what Korea did with their competition.”



 Lockheed Martin

South Korea conducted a commercial source selection for their new radar, ultimately selecting the Raytheon Advanced Combat Radar which will be integrated onto the F-16 by BAE Systems.

The USAF, meanwhile, has selected Lockheed to be its prime integrator for the combat avionics programmed extension suite (CAPES) upgrade. The service has left it up to the company to choose a new radar for the USAF’s 300 healthiest F-16s.

“I think we’re well positioned based on the technology and our offering,” Ensor says. “Nothing’s a given, we have to compete and win that programme, but I still believe we’re well positioned.

Ensor says that the USAF’s CAPES programme will be the starting point for future F-16 upgrade foreign military sales (FMS) contracts, including the Taiwan upgrade effort. “Taiwan will be one of the launch customers for this F-16 AESA upgrade,” he says.

Northrop expects that Lockheed will pick a radar for the CAPES programme in August, Ensor says.

Picking the SABR would offer many benefits for the USAF and Lockheed, Ensor says. The SABR is highly common in terms of hardware and software with radars Northrop is already building for the USAF’s fifth-generation fighter fleet comprised of Lockheed-built F-22 Raptors and F-35 Joint Strike Fighters.

For future upgrades, that means software developed for the Raptor’s APG-77 radar and F-35’s APG-81 system can be ported over to the SABR with only minor tweaks, Ensor says. Moreover, pilots transferring from one airframe to another would be familiar with many of the displays, company officials say.