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Theatre BMD: A DACS design for the ASTER Block 2 Kill Vehicle

P. AUSSIGNAC MBDA G. UHRIG Snecma Propulsion Solide, SAFRAN Group
The stringent requirement on DACS derived from the Kill Vehicle iterative design process will be highlighted. Selected DACS technologies will then be presented and will show how the very high level of lateral thrust needed can be obtained in a compact concept. General performance and relevant selected technologies will be presented: - Hot gas valves technology, - Propellant and gas generator architecture. In conclusion, global architecture of the Kill Vehicle, expected performance and development route map will then be presented. EUROPEAN INITIAL CAPABILITY STATUS The SAMP/T Block 1 system, based on the ASTER 30 Block 1 missile is the Initial Capability weapon system selected by the French forces and the Italian land forces. It will be delivered in 2008, providing a first capability for ballistic missiles interception. This system, deployable in external operations and interoperable with NATO systems, will ensure an efficient defence facing: Evolved conventional threats (aircraft and tactical aerodynamic missiles), Short range tactical ballistic missiles of the current generation.

ABSTRACT The performance level of future TBM threats will increase in terms of penetration capabilities or of range beyond the SCUD class. These evolutions lead to the definition of a future missile solution based on a medium to high endo-atmospheric interceptor: the ASTER Block 2. Such an interceptor would minimize system evolutions, in order to complement the French and Italian Initial Capability based on the SAMP/T Block 1 and to upgrade future anti-ballistic capabilities to the PAAMS naval systems. To perform Hit-To-Kill interception in the medium to high endo-atmospheric, the ASTER Block 2 Kill Vehicle should be designed to deal with both low aerodynamic pressure inducing low aerodynamic manoeuvrability capability, and high Mach regime at altitudes for which Divert jet interactions are to be considered carefully. This paper will present the resulting Kill Vehicle constraints for the medium endoatmospheric regime focusing on MBDA Divert experience derived from the ASTER Block 1 interceptor and the propulsion technology provided by Snecma Propulsion Solide, SAFRAN Group. The presentation will explain how interception domain requirements lead to a Kill Vehicle based on an IIR seeker and a solid DACS, combining a Hit-To-Kill strategy with a Lethal Enhancement Device. Missions devoted to that Kill Vehicle will be described with emphasis on the Divert enabling capability to face some manoeuvring targets, including discrimination process partly based on natural discrimination.

Nevertheless: Intercept altitudes stay limited in the low atmosphere, Defended zones are consequently limited in surface to a few hundreds of km, It does not cover some aspects of the threat potential evolution.

at this level of velocity on the base of RF technology (contrarily to IR technology). Last but not least, the threat evolution includes threat which trajectory can occur entirely in the atmosphere. Combined with the very high manoeuvre level in the dense atmosphere, it argues in favour of the only possible intercept altitude regime, between 20 and 60 km. DRIVERS FOR THE EUROPEAN CAPABILITY 2 SYSTEM To effectively face the challenges of the future, the Capability 2 system should: Address the threat evolutions: 1. Ballistic missile with ranges from 300 km to those exceeding 1500 km,
Figure 1 Initial Cap.: the ASTER Block 1 missile

2. RF signature level associated to the class of Re-entry Vehicles, 3. Trajectory diversification, such as lofted, depressed and semi-ballistic attacks, 4. All types of intentional manoeuvres described above, 5. A large set of TBM payloads, including cluster. Enlarge the area defended by one system in order to widen the level of protection of deployed troops. Allow a contribution from European Navies in active defence operations: the minimum footprint radius should then typically exceed 30 km on the more demanding threats.

INTERCEPT REGIME TO COUNTER FUTURE TBM THREATS As analysed and detailed in [1], to address the above limitations the candidate interceptor for a Capability 2 System should first increase the Keep Out Altitude (KOA) from Initial Capability: this is appropriate to deal with the high level of deceleration corresponding to long range RV and provide a better theatre protection in link with chemical fall-downs. The defended area level elevation corresponding to this KOA raise and the faster target considered induce the requirement of a rapid interceptor (more than 2 km/s) in order to allow the radar sensors to be compliant with theatre defence constraints (transportability, deployment easiness, short reaction time). This interception regime with very high closing velocities on reduced RCS RV conflicts with any pure RF seeker approach: the late homing duration would not only create stringent requirements on FCR accuracy and interceptor manoeuvrability but it would also be incompliant with any Hit-To-Kill objective

Figure 2 Trajectory diversification

To appear affordable at the European level, this system should be managed as a progressive increment of the Initial Capability. This is why the interceptor should: Remain compliant with current ASTER launchers, Rely on affordable and transportable radar sensors, re-using at the maximum available resources from the Initial Capability. For example the Early Warning sensor of the Initial Capability would play the role of BMD Fire Control Radar for Capability 2. THE ASTER BLOCK 2 MISSILE The proposed solution to fulfil the mission is a missile combining two stages of propulsion with an agile Kill Vehicle. Global dimensions are compliant with Initial Capability launchers and total interceptor mass is clearly under one ton. The first propulsion stage accelerates close to Mach 6. The second propulsion stage brings the final velocity above Mach 7 and allows a continuous control of the interceptor until Kill Vehicle release several seconds before interception.

Figure 4 ASTER Block 2 Kill Vehicle



The main challenges of the chosen interception regime are concentrated in the Kill Vehicle. The most critical point is obviously the performance level that can be reached by an IR seeker through an intensively hot window, submitted to potentially high aero-thermal effects and to aero-optical deformations through the shockwave field.

Figure 5 Dynamic flow on Kill Vehicle

Figure 3 ASTER Block 2 missile

The lethal concept is based on Hit-To-Kill thanks to the DACS agility combined to IR seeker accuracy. In order to fully destroy cluster warhead when hitting the target payload, an additional lethality enhancer leads to a 100 kg class Kill Vehicle.

In addition, the low atmosphere density at such altitude prevents from relying on aerodynamics only to realise Guidance & Control orders. This is why the Kill Vehicle will rely on DACS technology (solid-DACS technology will be considered in priority, in order to be compliant with naval constraints and for logistics simplicity).

Control techniques than appear as the other major critical element for mission feasibility, in particular in presence of jet interactions.

To address the jet interactions challenge, intensive CFD characterization is mandatory. The computations are characterized by: High Mach number flows (Mach > 5), Large variations of Pi jet / Ps, Complex cases of multiple jets interactions.

Some example of MBDA France aerodynamic and performance department calculations are shown in Figure 7 and 8.

Figure 6 Kill Vehicle Divert flow simulation

This is why studies for an ASTER Block 2 Kill Vehicle mainly focus on: IR terminal guidance conditions, DACS control interactions. in presence of jet

Figure 8 Pi jet / Ps effect on interactions

The specificity of the MENDO regime is that aerodynamics flow are not dense enough to allow an effective purely aerodynamic control loop at altitudes higher than 30 km, but it stays dense enough to create perturbations that could destabilise a DACS based KV control.

The lessons learned from the ASTER Block 1 development have allowed reducing jet interactions level by acting on the nozzle design, orientation and shape. This experience has also led to select a Kill Vehicle design without wings or fins to get rid of direct induced roll in this interception regime. This is why current Kill Vehicle design offers a level of jet interactions which stays compliant with an acceptable trade-off in the fuel management between ACS and Divert levels. These conclusions are still based on model approach based on the ASTER Block 1 flight experience.

Figure 7 Navier-Stokes multi species calculation

The next step is to validate these lessons in wind test tunnel on the candidate Kill Vehicle geometry.

DACS REQUIREMENTS One of the key challenges in the regime is to consider the balance between various types of behaviour from the target, which can present: A high deceleration level, Natural re-entry movements that can intentionally be amplified by mass distribution imbalance, Penetration controlled manoeuvres such as helix movements.

versatile profiles in link with the altitude regime within the MENDO framework. Low altitude intercept requires a Divert profile with a unusually high level at the very end of the interception to deal with target movements. High altitude intercept requires longer duration profile and does not need anymore the manoeuvrability peak at the very end of the intercept.



Figure 11 Typical high altitude Divert requirement

For ACS, the requirements are mainly driven by control constraints due to the presence of jet interactions. The ACS has hence to:
Figure 9 Example of generic threat load factor

Function simultaneously with Divert, Produce a force that is a fraction of the Divert one, Follow Divert requirement profile. DACS DESIGN

The other Divert major contribution is to participate in recovering from missile navigation and radar errors in the terminal phase.



The requirement for simultaneous Divert and ACS functioning leads to a design with a common combustion chamber. The requirement for minimizing the centre of gravity displacement favours symmetric solid fuel load.



Figure 10 Typical low altitude Divert requirement

In order to cover the whole intercept regime, the best trade-off consists in a DACS offering

Figure 12 DACS design for the ASTER Block 2

The versatile profiles are obtained using thrust modulation, proportional independent thrusters and multiple solid propellant grains. The required Kill Vehicle guidance and control accuracy is provided through low response time proportional independent thrusters.

The six ACS CMC external valves are linked to the gas generator chamber through a CMC manifold distributor and use electromechanical actuators with low response time too. The DACS control and command unit uses specific electronics based on combustion pressure control loop. The sonic throat areas are commanded to match thrust system requirements while, because of high pressure variations induced by high exponent propellant, having to deal with: Burning area variations, Grain temperature variations, Manufacturing discrepancies, Thermal expansions.

Figure 13 DACS integration in the Kill Vehicle

DACS KEY TECHNOLOGIES To fulfil stringent requirements, the DACS gas generator uses state of the art solid propulsion technology: Common chamber for Divert and ACS gas generator, High temp. filament wound composite domes, to withstand high pressure and thermal loads, High energy metal free solid propellant with high pressure exponent, Two symmetric multi-pulse grains (centred on center of gravity).
F c P c

P c P m





Figure 15 DACS control loop

The four Divert CMC valves are integrated in the combustion chamber, present a very high thrust compact design and use powerful electromechanical actuators to provide low response time.

The control of pressure transients, through this electronic unit (ignition, pressure transitions), improves thrust accuracy and system reactivity. Dynamic models of the DACS system [2] are used to simulate the controlled propulsive performances and hence to guarantee the system precision stability and robustness DACS COMPOSITE MATERIALS The thermo-structural parts use CMC (C/SiC) as valve materials and manifold distributor that can endure: Very high temperature, Long operating durations, No erosion within combustion gases. highly oxidizing

Figure 14 Integrated Divert valves

Figure 16 ACS valve Figure 18 ASTER Block 2 Kill Vehicle architecture

Clean-burning EPDM insulators are used for case and integrated Divert actuators pressure shells. Structural parts are made of high temperature and stiff filament wound composite case.

CONCLUSION The Capability 2 system appears as a natural and affordable upgrade for European nations accessing currently to the Initial Capability, allowing them to face the tactical threat evolutions. It will allow a theatre protection, corresponding to a defended radius from 30 to 80 km according to the threat. The threat spectrum includes manoeuvring TBM up to 1500 km range and more, in addition to the spectrum already covered by the Initial Capability. The preliminary studies have led to a Kill Vehicle designed to meet the challenges of the medium-endo atmospheric regime (20 to 60 km altitude). These studies are partly based on the experience of previous developments like the ASTER Block 1 and the IR MICA. The next step is to confirm this favourable trend through a complete set of trials in the heart of the Mach Altitude regime. BIBLIOGRAPHY [1] Theatre missile threat requirements: an analysis to capture their potential evolutions, J.F. Gondet, MBDA, 4th AAAF International Conference on Missile Defence Challenges in Europe [2] Enabling Technologies for Advanced Solid DACS, P. CAUBET, Snecma Propulsion Solide, 4th AAAF International Conference on Missile Defence Challenges in Europe

Figure 17 Protected Divert actuator

KILL VEHICLE ARCHITECTURE From current analysis, baseline ASTER Block 2 Kill Vehicle architecture mainly includes: An imaging infrared seeker with a frontal IR-dome and a removable shroud, A DACS based on a unique combustion chamber and 4 (Divert) + 6 (ACS) nozzles, A lethality enhancer to finalise Hit-To-Kill effectiveness on cluster TBM payloads.