The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has selected Texas Instruments, Boeing North American and Toyon Research to undertake year-long research studies on low-cost, cruise-missile defence systems.

Texas Instruments, Boeing North American and Toyon Research of Goleta, California, have received $1 million, $182,500 and $848,500, respectively, to conduct concept-development studies over the next 12-months.

The idea is to improve the US military forces' ability to defeat large numbers of low-flying cruise missiles which are designed to be fired in salvo against traditional air-defence systems. DARPA believes that proliferating existing air defences may not be the solution.

Texas Instruments will develop a surface- or air-launched interceptor with a range of more than 240km (150nm). The Boeing unit will take a gun-launched, high-speed projectile approach with precision targeting provided by sensors mounted on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

Toyon Research will investigate a re-usable, UAV weapon system employing a low-cost airframe, sensor and kill mechanism.

Source: Flight International