Raytheon Tests New TOW Propulsion System
Raytheon tested a new propulsion system for the Tube-Launched, Optically-Tracked, Wireless (TOW) missile.
Developed by ATK, the enhanced system doubles TOW's range and reduces the missile's flight time by one-third.
During the test, the developmental propulsion system flew the missile more than 7 kilometers (4.35 miles), reaching 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) in significantly less time.
Raytheon and ATK's Missile Products Group worked closely to develop a propulsion system that improves the performance of the TOW missile.
The launch, boost, sustain (LBS) propulsion system also incorporates a rocket motor designed with Insensitive Munitions (IM) features to provide added safety: IM compliant systems are less likely to react explosively when subjected to bullet and fragment impacts, external fire or other hazardous events.
“We brought an IM propulsion system to a technology readiness level that can be demonstrated to our government customer and which greatly reduces the research and development costs necessary to provide this enhancement to an existing combat-proven system,” said Michelle Lohmeier, Vice President for Land Combat at Raytheon Missile Systems.
The TOW system has been employed by U.S. Forces in every conflict since Vietnam and continues to be used today in Afghanistan. It is a command line-of-sight system that requires the gunner to track the target until the missile impacts.
“This launch, boost, sustain technology greatly enhances the TOW gunner's survivability by allowing us to engage targets outside the threat range of direct engagement systems and by reducing the time we must track a target,” said Scott Speet, TOW Program Director for Raytheon Missile Systems.