The AMRAAM missile is a modern marvel of military technology. And it’s getting
to a development effort called F3R – form, fit, function refresh – the
medium-range missile is being upgraded to address rapidly evolving threats. The
new missile, with its improved guidance circuitry and software, supports the
U.S. military’s imperative to upgrade existing technologies and keep pace with advanced
imperatives are the things we have to do to be successful and to have a
successful deterrent,” said U.S. Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall. “These
problems are already upon us; they’re not future things we have to worry about
at some time five or 10 or 15 years down the road. They’re here now. We have to
address them with a strong sense of urgency.”
the capabilities of AMRAAM addresses today’s operational imperatives. With the
hardware and software advancements, such as the recently fielded System
Improvement Program-3, AMRAAM continues to break
its own records with range and capabilities brought to the
AMRAAM is a mature, highly advanced, intelligent weapon we continually innovate
and modernize,” said Paul Ferraro, president of Air Power at Raytheon, a Raytheon Technologies business. “It helps to maintain air
dominance for the U.S. and its allies around the globe, and the F3R refresh
will ensure it continues to do so well into the future.”
use by 41 nations, the AMRAAM missile is flying on the F-15C Eagle and F-15E
Strike Eagle, F-16 Fighting Falcon, F/A-18 C/D Hornet and F/A-18E/F Super
Hornet, F-22 Raptor, Eurofighter Typhoon, JAS-39 Gripen, Panavia Tornado and
Harrier Jump Jet. It is also the only air-to-air missile qualified on the F-35
Joint Strike Fighter.
F3R effort included the use of digital technologies such as model-based system
engineering to upgrade 15 circuit cards in the missile’s guidance section. The
missile will have new software as well.
part of the F3R updates, Raytheon is modifying the
AMRAAM design to accommodate new parts and keep it ahead of modern threats. At
the same time, they’ll bring in new processors, for example, that are able to
incorporate more advanced algorithms and can calculate faster.
all translates into better performance for the end user – the U.S. Air Force,
the U.S. Navy and foreign military sales customers,” Ferraro said.
the F3R refresh, the business is using a tool it calls “M-Sim,” short for emulation
simulation, to emulate hardware on circuit cards so that software designers can
rapidly build, test and integrate software into hardware.
Separately, Raytheon will also use digital design and
manufacturing to produce new AMRAAM-Extended Range missiles, which launch from
the surface as part of ground-based air defense systems.