The U.S. Navy partnered with ATK to develop a Multi Stage Supersonic Target system (MSST) that can represent a family of threat systems with an extremely wide variety of flight parameters and representation.
The MSST design is comprised of a two-stage, unmanned aerial target, a launcher, and associated support equipment. The equipment includes a subsonic bus stage that will tumble and fall into the sea at stage separation and a supersonic sprint stage that continues to the desired end point. The minimum cruise altitude is 50 feet, with the separation event occurring at altitudes from 50 feet to 3,000 feet.
The MSST target can simulate various of the U.S. Navy’s identified threat requirements over a wide range of speeds and altitudes. The fielded system will provide unparalleled threat representation for developmental and operational testing of major Department of Defense and international weapon systems.
ATK is the prime contractor for the MSST 50-month SDD program. The MSST vehicle includes the subsonic bus vehicle (a derivative of CEi’s BQM-167X), the sprint-vehicle rocket motor (a derivative of ATK’s MK-114 VLA), and the sprint-vehicle front-end system, which contains a proven, multipurpose guidance and processing electronics system that is currently being used on multiple target platforms.
The MSST system will be introduced to additional domestic and international markets in the future. Launch locations will expand beyond Point Mugu, Calif., to better serve the DoD and international customers. The lower-cost MSST will replace higher-cost supersonic threat simulators, and MSST will grow from the training and experience requirement to a more robust operational target.
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