Lockheed Martin
Concept image of a stand-in attack weapon fired from an F-35 jet.

Defense Issues Contracts for New Missile Concept

June 12, 2022
Lockheed Martin, Northrup Grumman, and L3Harris Technologies have been tapped for a digital engineering and design project for the Stand-in Attack Weapon, one of USAF’s “next generation of air-to-ground munitions”.

The U.S. Dept. of Defense issued three 90-day contracts worth $2 million each to Lockheed Martin, Northrup Grumman, and L3Harris Technologies to develop the Stand-in Attack Weapon (SiAW) one of the U.S. Air Force’s “next generation of air-to-ground munitions” first outlined in 2021. The SiAW concept involves air-launched long-range missiles that would be delivered to enemy targets from a high-speed aircraft, such as the Lockheed-built F-35.

The name indicates a contrast from Stand-off Attack Weapons, which involves a long-range missile launched from an aircraft or ship, submarine, or land. The SiAW concept is intended to gain lethality by delivering the missile closer to its target using a Stealth-enabled aircraft, avoiding detection while achieving speed and accuracy.

The USAF has a $1.9-billion, four-year development budget for the SiAW project (FY2023-2027.) This first phase of the program involves digital engineering and design, by which Lockheed is tasked with defining and proposing “an open, agile, and digital weapon that can be rapidly upgraded through digital engineering,” according to one source.

Northrop Grumman’s work on the project is based on its past work developing Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile-Extended Range (AARGM-ER for the U.S. Navy and integrating it on F-35s.

L3Harris is a Melbourne, Fla.-based defense communications and surveillance specialist that reportedly also will apply digital engineering capabilities centered in its Agile Development Group, which is focused on responses to emerging threats.

The SiAW development was announced in May 2021, and Boeing and Raytheon Technologies reportedly were initially under consideration for the development program. It’s not known if the three selected companies are working in coordination or on separate proposals.

Latest from News

Derek Gordon | Dreamstime
Lockheed Martin
Maximilian Pogonii | Dreamstime
Pratt & Whitney
Liujunrong | Dreamstime