The US Air Force (USAF) has granted $100m in additional funding for the development of high-performance, millimetre wave seeker technology for munitions.
As part of the Air Force small business innovation research (SBIR) Phase II contract, Texas-based L-3 Mustang Technology will combine an automatic target acquisition and tracking algorithm, intelligent target clustering and the capability to support a deployment demonstration.
Air Force Research Laboratory researcher Thomas Lewis said: "MMW seekers are active radar seekers with the capability to both transmit and receive information.
"Because they provide their own illumination, they can be used day or night. Additionally, because of the wavelength they use, they allow us to see through both clouds and rain."
Researchers are expected to transition the technology to the AFRL Munitions Directorate’s advanced development GBU-X (Flexible Weapons) programme.
The GBU-X programme focuses on two primary areas, including the development of open systems architecture that features common interfaces to support rapid technology refresh and configuration of the munition system to meet individual mission requirements.
In addition, it explores cooperative engagement strategies with the support of networked and selectable effects munitions for strengthened countermeasures and enhanced endgame performance over baseline inventory munitions.
The additional funds delivered into the project will make sure the second phase of the project moves to a Phase III programme which will transfer the technologies into military or private sectors.