Navy completes guided flight test with Matrix-supplied radome

Matrix Composites used resin transfer molding (RTM) to manufacture the radomes for the long-range, land-attack projectile for the U.S. Navy.

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Matrix Composites Inc. (Rockledge, Fla., USA) announced on Oct. 11 the successful completion of the U.S. Navy’s latest round of long-range, land-attack projectile (LRLAP) guided-flight tests using composite radomes fabricated by Matrix.

LRLAP is a 155-mm/6.1-inch-diameter rocket-assisted guided projectile designed to support land-attack operations in conjunction with the Advanced Gun System (AGS) on DDG-1000 Zumwalt class destroyers. The projectile relies on the Matrix-supplied nosecone to transmit telemetry and guidance data while operating in extreme flight environments.

The Navy’s four flight tests flew accurately to a designated impact point and met test objectives for successful gun launch, rocket motor ignition and operation, GPS acquisition and terminal guidance.

The Matrix team used its experience in precision resin transfer molding (RTM) and design to develop, test and manufacture high-quality radomes for the program. The radome is manufactured with novel high-temperature cyanate ester and ceramic materials capable of enduring the extreme launch loads and aerodynamic heating, while being virtually invisible to the radio frequency transmissions needed for guidance. With the successful flight testing, the project moves closer to operational readiness. Full rate production of the radome is expected to begin in 2015 at Matrix’s Rockledge, Fla., facility.

Matrix Composites’ president David Nesbitt says, “The positive test results further demonstrates our expertise with precision closed molding and is another win for our portfolio of successful collaborations. I couldn’t be more proud of my team, not just for this success, but because solutions like this help provide our warfighters the tools they need to be successful.¨