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The Army Combined Arms Weapon System (TACAWS)
The Army Counter Air Weapon System (TACAWS)

Paralleling the Marine Corps' quest for a follow on missile to TOW and HELLFIRE was an Army project that also considered a follow on missile to replace those weapons. The Army's requirement for a new missile originally were developed from a concept for a new heavy anti-tank missile called the Advanced Missile System-Heavy (AMS-H). In 1988, the Army funded Texas Instruments and Hughes to develop a focal plane IIR seeker for the AMS-H requirement. In FY91 as no firm requirement for a TOW replacement existed, the Army canceled the program and shelved the project.

With the cancellation of the AMS-H, the Army's Missile Command (MICOM) had been working on new missile technology called The Army Counter Air Weapon System (TACAWS). This was the leading research and development for the JAWS program, and the Army planned to use the missile against both air and ground targets. The missile could be fired from either the ground or from helicopters in the anti-armor role, and anti-air role.

The TACAWS project would demonstrate advanced tactical missile technology including seekers, propulsion airframes, warheads, and guidance and control. The project was planned to demonstrate lightweight multi-role missile technology in support of air-to-air, ground-to-air, and ground to ground missions. Particular attention would be given to the development of IR seeker technology capable of defeating helos buried in cluttered backgrounds, the innovative use of optical data links for identification of friend or foe (to attempt to limit fratricide), and the ability to attack targets masked from the launch platform. MICOM planned for JAWS missile performance to exceed current baseline parameters for the Stinger missile, the HELLFIRE missile, and the TOW missile.

On 24 March 1995, Raytheon Company, Bedford, Massachusetts, was awarded a $750,000 modification to a $5,388,202 (potential value $13,921,729 if option is exercised) cost plus fixed fee/cost plus incentive fee contract for what had become The Army Combined Arms Weapon System's (TACAWS) Imaging Infrared Seeker Design Definition Program, Phase I and Technical Demonstration Program, Phase II. Work was performed in Bedford, Massachusetts, and was expected to be completed by 30 April 1997. There were 100 bids solicited on 10 October 1993, and four bids received. The contracting activity was the U.S. Army Missile Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama (DAAH01-94-C-R166).

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Page last modified: 07-07-2011 12:36:53 ZULU