Moog Inc. used the recent 2013 Special Operations Forces Industry Conference (SOFIC) to highlight its new Third Generation (G3) Stores Management System (SMS), which can be used to provide a range of existing land, sea, and air platforms with greatly expanded tactical capabilities.
The latest-generation system has been on the market for approximately eight months and builds on a lineage dating back to a first-generation system that was introduced around 2009.
The new Moog G3 SMS consists of a lightweight (4 pounds) stores management computer, stores interface unit, and stores control panel. The system is capable of a variety of communication protocols, able to perform sensor-seeker slave, and able to perform real-time launch acceptability regions for precision weapons.
“What it enables you to do is weaponize or convert a number of different surface craft, rotary-wing platforms, fixed-wing platforms, or ground vehicles into EO/IR sensor suites with precision attack capabilities,” explained one company representative. “That translates into the ability to take an existing aircraft organic to a specific region – that can be a standard aircraft aviation asset or non-standard aircraft aviation asset – and kit it with your choice of missiles.”
The SOFIC exhibit emphasized the company’s status claim that the Moog G3 SMS represents the first off-the shelf SMS to be fully compatible with Lockheed Martin’s AGM-114 “Romeo” model Hellfire missile.
“Along with Hellfire we can also integrate with systems including the DAGR, M134[D] minigun, the Hydra-70 pod, and the M3 .50-caliber machine gun,” the developer added. “But you can take any aircraft that’s forward, and as long as it can host the payload, you can weaponize them or throw EO/IR sensors onto them for purposes of a number of different missions.
The new G3 SMS consists of a lightweight (4 pounds) stores management computer, stores interface unit, and stores control panel. The system is capable of a variety of communication protocols, able to perform sensor-seeker slave, and able to perform real-time launch acceptability regions for precision weapons.
“Typically, when missile manufacturers go to an international customer, obviously they’re interested in promoting their particular missile,” he continued. “And then that customer has to figure out how to take it, integrate it back into the aircraft, and have it communicate to the pilot control panel, communicate to what was essentially their stores management computer, calculate a number of things – like launch acceptable region, and have the ability for target handoff, so when an EO/IR sensor, for example, picks up a specific target, you have the ability to hand that information over to the weapon.
“This kit allows you to do that,” he said. “So we can go to a customer, recommend that they use a Hellfire, recommend that they use a 134, recommend that they use a TOW [tube-launched, optically-tracked, wire command-link guided] – pick the missile or weapon of choice – and this SMS essentially enables them to ‘upgrade’ their existing platform with minimal integration challenges.”
Acknowledging that the stores management computer system has been around for several years, they offered that the differences between those earlier designs includes things like its light weight.
“And for helicopter applications that’s extremely important,” he observed. “The other thing is that we have a completely open architecture. The only information we need in order to install the weapons on a platform is the ICD [interface control document] information. Other than that, with respect to the moving map display, pilot’s control panel, our system is completely open architecture and can be adapted to any of the systems out there.”
In March 2013, Moog technicians integrated the SMS on an MD-500 and Cessna C-208, flew more than 12 sorties and conducted more than 35 target engagements against a variety of fixed targets. The flight demonstrations were supported by employees from Moog’s newly formed Integrated Defense Systems business, which focuses on corporate capabilities in the integration of complex weapon systems for both existing and new production platforms.