Military


SLAMRAAM [Surfaced-Launched Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile]

The Surfaced-Launched Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (SLAMRAAM) is the Army's future shortrange air defense weapon. The SLAMRAAM program is intended to eventually replace all the Army's shortrange air defense weapon systems that employ the Stinger missile. The SLAMRAAM system intends to give the Army the capability to engage targets (including cruise missiles and helicopters) to beyond line-of-sight and at greater ranges than the Stinger-based systems. SLAMRAAM is also intended to defend against the evolving air threat from unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and cruise missiles.

The SLAMRAAM fire unit consists of four to six ready-to-fire AIM-120C-7 AMRAAMs mounted on an Army High Mobility Multi-Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV). The SLAMRAAM system also consists of a Battle Management Command, Control, Computers, Communications, and Intelligence (BMC4I) system. The BMC4I system will include the sensors, command posts, and communications systems necessary to pass targeting data to the SLAMRAAM fire units. The United States Marine Corps (USMC) is also developing a surfaced-launched AMRAAM system called the Complementary Low-Altitude Weapon System (CLAWS). The USMC CLAWS program is also an HMMWV-based fire unit capable of launching AIM-120C AMRAAM missiles. The operational requirements for the Army's SLAMRAAM and USMC's CLAWS programs are very similar, but not identical.

The SLAMRAAM program plans to select the system contractor in FY04. The program will then enter the system development and demonstration phase.

According to DOT&E, two issues are critical to an adequate assessment of the operational effectiveness and suitability of the SLAMRAAM program. The first issue is the ability of the AIM-120C AMRAAM missile to perform against the targets of interest to the Army, namely, UAVs, cruise missiles, and helicopters. Firings against these types of targets have not been done throughout the long history of the AMRAAM test program conducted by the Air Force and Navy.

Second, the integration of the BMC4I is critical to the success of SLAMRAAM. The SLAMRAAM system, unlike the Stinger-based weapons, cannot autonomously engage targets. The SLAMRAAM fire unit must receive targeting data from the BMC4I system, including targeting data acquired from sensors operated by other Services. The BMC4I system must also provide target identification of friendly aircraft. This becomes critical since SLAMRAAM provides a beyond line-of-sight engagement capability that cannot rely on visual identification means to distinguish friendly aircraft from enemy threats. The BMC4I system must also be mobile enough to keep up with rapidly advancing maneuver forces.




NEWSLETTER
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list