EUROPEAN MISSILE manufacturer MBDA showed a range of weapon concepts that could be further developed under the Tempest future fighter programme at the Defence & Security Equipment International (DSEI) show in London in September.
Displayed for the first time were the SPEAR-EW – a new electronic warfare version of the SPEAR weapon – and concepts for within-visual-range air-to-air weapons based on the current ASRAAM/CAMM family.
Concepts for two deep strike weapons – one optimised for stealth and the other for high speed – were unveiled at this year’s Paris Air Show in June and have also been earmarked for the Tempest.
The Tempest’s planned longer internal bay will allow it to carry a shortened ASRAAM-type weapon in pairs or a longer, increased-calibre derivative with extended range. The latter would have a radar-frequency or, perhaps, a dual mode-seeker.
The smaller ASRAAM development would retain the performance and range parameters of the current weapon thanks to aerodynamic refinements.
MBDA is also working alongside Leonardo and BAE Systems in developing concepts for a Hard Kill Defensive Aid System (HK-DAS), a 22lb (10kg) missile capable of tracking, targeting and intercepting incoming missiles in high-threat environments.
HK-DAS technology will also be incorporated in a scalable Ground Attack Micromissile for close air support.
The company has received funding from Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S) for a technology demonstration programme for its SPEAR-EW, based on the Spear 3 that’s planned for integration on the RAF’s Typhoon and F-35B. SPEAR-EW will accommodate a miniaturised EW payload from Leonardo and will act as a stand-in jammer to increase survivability of RAF aircraft and suppress enemy air defences.