Extended Range Munition (ERM)
Navy funds in FY06 were allocated to provide for the development of two separate 5" guided projectiles: the Extended Range Guided Munition (ERGM) and the Ballistic Trajectory Extended Range Munition (BTERM) as part of the ERM demonstration. The ERGM was being executed as a formal ACAT program while ERM was a demonstration project via a Broad Agency Announcement. Both were executed through the end of FY05. In FY06, a full and open competition was expected to be held to select a single 5" guided projectile for System Development and Demonstration leading to a planned Initial Operational Capability in FY11.
The Extended Range Munition (ERM) program began in FY04 with a planned IOC in FY08. Development of the Extended Range Munition (ERM), for use in existing 5"/54 MK45 Mod 2 guns, included the a Low Cost Guidance and Electronic Unit (LCGEU) from demonstration of Autonomous Naval Support Round (ANSR). The Technology demonstrations for both ANSR and the LCGEU were being executed under a BAA contract award to Draper Laboratory. The Navy required an affordable projectile, one that costs $35,000 or less per unit, including the cost of the propelling charge. The the unit cost objective was $15,000.
The success of the war-fighting concepts of the Navy (Forward From the Sea) and the Marine Corps (Operational Maneuver From the Sea) required the support of improved Naval Surface Fire Support capabilities. Whether from close range or from over-the-horizon, these improved capabilities were required to support future amphibious operations and joint land battle scenarios. A critical element in achieving these goals was the development of long range, low cost, lethal projectiles. One such program under development to meet this need was the EGRM program.
The ERM has been a key element in providing a near term Naval Surface Fire Support (NSFS) capability. The NSFS mission is to support the US and allied assault landing forces through increased range and accuracy. Funds requested provided engineering support for items procured in same fiscal year. Support efforts included analysis of producibility and production operations; preparation, test and technical evaluation of engineering changes to correct deficiencies in the production item; preparation, test and technical evaluation of waivers and deviations; value engineering; review and evaluation of production design data and documentation; production configuration control; and other related engineering function which were integral to an item's manufacture.
On 31 October 2003 the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) solicited proposals under Broad Agency Announcement Solicitation Number BAA N00024-04-R-4302 for Extended Range Munition demonstration. A major goal of this BAA was to demonstrate low cost alternative guided projectiles. NAVSEA sought proposals for the demonstration of alternative precision-guided munitions concepts capable of being fired from the Navy MK 45 gun system by the end of September 2005. Specifically, NAVSEA sought innovative concepts for all weather, day/night alternative gun-launched projectiles capable of operation in the Mk 45 Mod 4 (required) and Mod 2 (desired) guns.
The contractor would be responsible for all aspects of the demonstration effort including: development/acquisition of propelling charge, arrangement of test facilities and activities, as well as any associated Government support. It was expected that the demonstration process would include subcomponent tests and all-up-round (AUR) tests. The subcomponent tests were expected to be utilized to verify suitability for AUR integration and tests. It was hoped that the AUR flight tests would demonstrate that the design concept met as many Key Parameters (long range, medium range, minimum range, jammed and unjammed environments, lethality, etc.) as possible. The Navy also desired a telemetry system integral to the round to limit the number of test configurations.
Mk 45 gun system interface verification tests were required with the Mod 4 gun system, this is to include round initialization tests to support system rate of fire requirements. Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation System (GPS/INS) concepts had to use Selected Availability Anti-Spoofing Module (SAASM) receivers with Black Keys. The knowledge, use, and implementation of NATO standardization agreements (STANAGs) and Allied Ordnance Publications (AOPs) in supporting the design and demonstration effort would be looked upon favorably. The contractor was not required to assess barrel wear issues attributable to the projectile and/or propellant charge. However, this was a key parameter so the Government was expected to perform barrel wear analysis of the Contractor's design during the demonstration effort. Contractors were instructed to keep in mind that, even though they were not required to perform the analysis, their proposed concept would be evaluated with respect to barrel wear.
In August 2004 the Navy modified plans for extended range munitions for the 5-inch gun. The Navy notified industry of its intent to issue a solicitation in 2005 for System Development and Demonstration with a Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) option of precision-guided, extended range munitions to be fired in the Navy's 5-inch gun. According to program official, depending on which system was selected, initial operational capability was expect to be as late as 2011. Evolving toward a FY05 "shoot-off," either the EGRM or the ANSR would enhance the range and accuracy of Navy 5-inch guns. In order to mitigate risk for the munitions development, the Navy conducted an open source selection in FY05 between the Extended Range Guided Munition (ERGM), the Ballistic Trajectory Extended Range Munition (BTERM II) and potential competitors.
The 15 March 2005 House Armed Services Committee Subcommittee on Projection Forces report stated "In order to mitigate risk for the munitions development, the Navy will conduct an open source selection in Fiscal Year 2005 between the Extended Range Guided Munition (ERGM), the Ballistic Trajectory Extended Range Munition (BTERM) and potential competitors. The contract will be awarded in early Fiscal Year 2006 with IOC planned for Fiscal Year 2011"
On 30 June 2005 it was announced that NAVSEA intended to issue a draft solicitation N00024-05-R-4313 for the Extended Range Munition (ERM) Projectile and Propelling Charge System Development and Demonstration (SDD). The draft solicitation included options for: Developmental Test and Operational Test (DT/OT) Test Assets, Assembly of DT/OT Test Assets, Transition to Production, Long Lead Items Procurement. LRIP, and Engineering Services. A contract with cost plus award fee, cost plus incentive fee and cost plus fixed fee line items was contemplated.
It was also stated that the Contractor shall provide labor, facilities, and engineering services to design and develop the ERM projectile that is fully integrated into the Mk 34 Gun Weapons System (utilizing the Mk 45 Mod 2 gun). The contractor would also design and document a tactical ERM propellant charge that provides consistent and safe gun launches of the ERM projectile. Lastly, the contractor would be expected to perform supporting analysis, simulations and testing to qualify the projectile and propelling charge.
Cost targets have been established for the ERM Projectile. The contractor would be expected to implement a Cost As and Independent Variable (CAIV) program. To be affordable in the quantities required, ERM average unit procurement cost (in FY03 dollars) had to not exceed $48,000 (threshold) based on a procurement objective of 18,000 rounds. Objective average unit cost was $20,000 based on the same quantity. Navy officials had estimated ERGM would cost $60,000 to $100,000 per unit, depending on the quantities produced.
Existing technology demonstrations have shown that micromachined silicon instruments can be used to construct a six-axis inertial navigator (three translation and three rotation axes) that can be used together with the Global Positioning System to guide a projectile. The inertial navigator would provide navigation if GPS is jammed, it works in the autopilot's control loops to transform Earth-referenced navigation commands into body-referenced control commands, and it stabilizes the line of sight for a terminal seeker to provide proportional navigation.
Although the technology demonstration showed that silicon micromachined instruments could provide this inertial navigator, the market had not yet produced such instruments in large quantities. For other applications (for example, automotive air bags) there were instruments that almost provide the needed performance. Although a full-custom, purpose-designed silicon micromachined IMU was technically feasible, the up-front costs had prevented any manufacturer from producing it, given the limited number of EX 171 (ERM) projectiles to be produced (compared to the million-unit quantities typical of commercial production). Asked to develop a highly integrated IMU, produced in a custom process with up to 20 steps, for a market that may purchase only 10,000 units, industry sees too much risk and too little payoff. So, to have a viable, low cost source of instruments, with the possibility of multiple vendors, the NSFS program had to look at non-custom, commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) instruments.
The Draft Request for Proposal Draft Solicitation N00024-05-R-4313 was released 30 June 2005, for the Extended Range Munition (ERM) Projectile and Propelling Charge System Development and Demonstration (SDD). This draft solicitation included options for: Developmental Test and Operational Test (DT/OT) Test Assets; Assembly of DT/OT Test Assets; Transition to Production; Long Lead Items Procurement; Low Rate Initial Production; and Engineering Services. A contract with cost plus award fee, cost plus incentive fee and cost plus fixed fee line items was contemplated. Section C, the Extended Range Munition (ERM) Capability Development Document (CDD), was not provided as part of the draft Request for Proposals (RFP).
A primary objective of the contract was to develop a gun launched (from a MK 45 Mod 4 Gun ) ERM airframe which is kinetically capable of meeting the performance requirements specified in Section C of the RFP. The potential contractor would be required to describe in detail the airframe design, and include modeling and analysis results and/or experimental data from related efforts, to indicate range (minimum and maximum) capability, accuracy and structural integrity in order to meet Section C of the RFP requirements.
A primary objective would be the ability of the potential contractor's GNC design to successfully navigate and control the ERM projectile over the entire operating envelope of the projectile. Potential contractor's would describe the Guidance Electronic Unit (GEU), Canard Actuation System (CAS) and GPS receiver design with anti-jam capability. The potential contractor would provide a design of the Inertial Sensing Assembly (ISA). The potential contractor would describe in detail how the accelerometers, CAS and rate gyros in their design would be able to survive the high "g" environment as specified in Section C of the RFP. The contractor would provide specific design detail on high "g" survivability of the GPS clock oscillator. The potential contractor would describe in detail how the ISA will meet the performance requirements as specified in Section C of the RFP, addressing the loss of GPS lock in a jamming environment and continued ISA guidance performance to targets at all engagement scenarios. The potential contractor would also describe the process by which the canards are commanded and physically moved in order to correct for guidance error.
The potential contractor would describe the ability of the GPS receiver to achieve the fastest satellite acquisition time possible. This was especially true for the case when jammers are in close proximity at any time during flight. The potential contractor would propose his acquisition time and justify this time, and the corresponding acquisition range, as a function of his design's resistance to jamming as described in Section C of the RFP. The potential contractor would describe in detail how his design would be able to achieve his proposed acquisition time.
A primary objective would be the potential contractor's ability to design and manufacture a warhead to meet the lethality criteria specified in Section C of the RFP under all flight profiles (range, angle of fall, velocity) specified in Section C of the RFP. The potential contractor had to show an understanding that the entire payload section was required to meet Navy Qualification and Insensitive Munition requirements. The potential contractor was required to demonstrate the survivability of the warhead during all environments associated with gun launch. The potential contractor had to demonstrate in the proposal the ability of the warhead design to satisfy the Navy safety requirement as specified in Section C of the RFP.
The contractor would provide a design of the rocket motor that would allow the ERM to meet the performance requirements specified in Section C of the RFP. The contractor would offer a detailed description of the rocket motor case, propellant compositions, safety and ignition systems. Projected motor performance parameters would also have to be described.
A primary objective would be the potential contractor's ability to manufacture a suitable propelling charge for the ERM. The charge must provide adequate energy at gun launch to achieve trajectories to meet mission requirements over the entire operation envelope of the projectile as specified in Section C of the RFP.
ATK announced in a 22 February 2006 Press Release that the BTERM development team had "successfully conducted a challenging short-range, unboosted, guided flight test of ATK's ballistic trajectory extended range munition (BTERM) in support of the Navy's extended range munition (ERM) requirement. In this engineering test, the advanced, BTERM guided projectile flew more than 8 miles and landed within two meters of the target. This is the latest in a series of engineering tests leading up to guided and boosted flight-tests, currently being scheduled for this spring." ATK was preparing for its next phase in the development plan, a series of boosted and guided flight tests, which were slated to be conducted later in 2006 and 2007.
On April 25, 2006 Alliant Techsystems announced that it had successfully fired a Ballistic Trajectory Extended Range Munition (BTERM) rocket motor in support of the US Navy's Extended Range Munition (ERM) program. Following the successful validation test of its rocket motor, ATK demonstrated the effectiveness of its Ignition Safety Device (ISD). Both tests were conducted at the Yuma Proving Grounds, Yuma, Arizona, on 14 April 2006.
At the beginning of 2006 it was planned that in third quarter FY06, a contract would be awarded for the 5" guided projectile for System Development and Demonstration (SDD). As of 1 October 2006, that is, the start of first quarter FY07, no contract had been awarded. The SDD continued in FY07 leading to an LRIP decision in FY10 and Initial Operational Capability in FY11.
According to a March 2007 Government Accountability Office report, the Navy identified 17 critical technologies for the ERM, 11 of which have reached maturity. A series of flight tests in 2005 had revealed reliability problems with several ERM components. The Navy continued to evaluate data from these flight tests, but anticipated that design changes for some technologies could be required. In addition, the Navy had identified a number of obsolete components in the ERM design. As a result, ERM is undergoing significant redesign, and 63 percent of the munition's design drawings, a measure of design maturity and stability, had been released by March 2007. According to program officials, the Navy continued to evaluate plans and identify resources required for completing development of the munition. Until these plans were approved and performance of redesigned components was validated through testing, uncertainty remained on whether the Navy's goal to begin fielding ERM in 2011 was realistic.
Eleven of ERM's 17 critical technologies were fully mature as of March 2007. Four technologies, the anti-jam electronics, control actuation system, data communication interface, and safe/arm device (SAD) and fuze, were approaching full maturity. However, the Navy's maturity assessment for two technologies could be reduced pending reports from failure review boards the Navy initiated after ERM flight test failures in 2005. According to program officials, these review boards had preliminarily identified ERM's control actuation system and rocket motor igniter as potential contributors to the test failures, which could require redesign of these components. In addition, the Navy has encountered obsolescence issues with ERM's global positioning satellite receiver and inertial measurement unit technologies. As a result, program officials report they had had to identify alternative components for these technologies and redesign the munition to accommodate the new components. Until the replacement components are integrated and tested with the munition, the global positioning satellite receiver and inertial measurement unit technologies will remain at lower levels of maturity. Although program officials report that the Navy continued to evaluate schedule and cost options for completing ERM system development, a comprehensive test plan for the munition had not been established.
In August 2006, oversight of the ERM program was elevated by requiring that major programmatic decisions, such as approval of the Navy's estimate for resources needed for completion and the strategy for development and testing, be approved by the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics rather than by the Navy. While this restructuring had elevated oversight, program plans continued to evolve, and a comprehensive review of the program by the Under Secretary had not been performed.
In response to the March 2007 GAO report the Navy stated that a revised acquisition strategy and acquisition program baseline for ERM were under review by the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development, and Acquisition. In addition, the prime contractor for the ERM, Raytheon, had conducted an extensive trade study and downselect process to minimize technical risk for replacing obsolete components. The Navy was also updating ERM's test and evaluation master plan to include three development test phases of 20 rounds each in FY08 through FY10, as well as, a 40-round shipboard operational test series in FY11. Each test series was required to be successfully completed as defined in annual continuation criteria certified by ERM's milestone decision authority. In addition, contractor production processes will be evaluated as part of an open competition for initial and full-rate production of ERM.
By the GAO's March 2008 assessment 8 of ERM's 17 critical technologies had reached maturity. Obsolescence issues facing ERM had prompted the Navy to replace components for a number of critical technologies. Testing of these new components inside gun-fired canisters revealed a number of structural weaknesses. While analysis of test results was still in progress at the time of the GAO report, program officials had begun to question the validity of the tests and were focused on moving forward with flight testing. Also, while all of ERM's design drawings have been released, a measure of design stability, continuing component test failures could necessitate design changes. Further, program officials reported that DoD continued to evaluate plans for completing development of ERM. Until these plans were approved and performance of new components was validated in testing, it was uncertain whether the Navy's goal to begin fielding ERM in 2011 was realistic.
Another 8 of the remaining 9 technologies were approaching maturity as of March 2008. Engineering changes to the munition prompted the Navy to reduce its assessment for ERM's rocket motor, rocket motor igniter, and height-of-burst fuze technologies from mature to approaching maturity. Engineering changes also affected the control actuation system, and the Navy then assessed as immature.
The Navy replaced components for a number of ERM technologies due to obsolescence and was testing these new components inside 8-inch canisters fired from guns. The canister testing was intended to help the Navy evaluate ERM reliability by exposing components to representative gun pressure and acceleration environments. Although the Navy initially outlined a robust plan for testing the new ERM components, hardware fabrication errors and delays as well as supplier cost growth prompted the Navy to scale back these plans. Component testing completed as of March 2008 identified a number of structural weaknesses with ERM components. For instance, in a July 2007 canister test, ERM's radome separated from the guidance section, the canard covers buckled, and subassemblies of the control actuation system fractured and deformed. Program officials report that although they continued to analyze test results, they have begun to question the validity of canister testing for ERM. Specifically, there was concern that the gun pressure loads placed upon the canisters in testing far exceeded those induced in a normal 5-inch gun. Alternatively, the program had begun testing the structural integrity of new components using centrifuge and air gun assets and was moving forward with engineering flight testing in advance of a 20-round reliability demonstration test phase planned for the fourth quarter of FY08.
The Navy proposed a restructuring of the ERM program following cost growth that led to an elevation in oversight responsibility for the program. According to program officials, the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics approved a new acquisition strategy for the program and was reviewing a new acquisition program baseline and systems engineering plan for ERM. In addition, program officials stated that a new test and evaluation master plan for ERM was under review and anticipated it would be completed in spring 2008.
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