Mid-Body Range Safety Subsystem

Navy SBIR 20.2 - Topic N202-113

Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) - Ms. Donna Attick [email protected]

Opens: June 3, 2020 - Closes: July 2, 2020 (12:00 pm ET)



N202-113       TITLE: Mid-Body Range Safety Subsystem


RT&L FOCUS AREA(S): General Warfighting Requirements (GWR)

TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Air Platform, Electronics, Weapons


The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120-130, which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services, including export of sensitive technical data, or the Export Administration Regulation (EAR), 15 CFR Parts 730-774, which controls dual use items. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals (FNs), their country(ies) of origin, the type of visa or work permit possessed, and the statement of work (SOW) tasks intended for accomplishment by the FN(s) in accordance with section 3.5 of the Announcement. Offerors are advised foreign nationals proposed to perform on this topic may be restricted due to the technical data under US Export Control Laws.


OBJECTIVE: Design and develop an innovative, automated, low-cost Mid-Body Range Safety Subsystem (MRSS) to meet range safety and platform engineering requirements for flight testing of the Tomahawk Weapons System launched from designated surface ships, submarines, and mobile ground launchers.


DESCRIPTION: The MRSS is an instrumentation package installed in the Tomahawk missile body prior to flight testing. In general, the MRSS provides three basic functions: telemetry, tracking, and flight override/flight terminate. The Tomahawk MRSS is comprised of an antenna, transmitter and a PCM Encoder that collects the missile data and puts it in a format to be transmitted. Currently, tracking is accomplished using a C-band transponder and an antenna. The flight override/flight terminate system will, typically, have an antenna, flight terminate receivers (FTRs), a control decoder (for flight override), and an electronics box that can sense the terminate command from the FTRs and interface with the missile methodology of crashing the missile.


The MRSS is required to meet data collection and range safety requirements. It provides the missile with a communications link with test ranges during flight tests and enables the missile to be tracked, monitored, and controlled or terminated by test range personnel during flight testing. This subsystem is only present during flight and related testing, and is comprised of a Range Safety Electronics Unit (RSEU) and a Tri-Band Antenna. The MRSS provides telemetry (TM) data at a rate of 2.5 megabits per second. The communications include missile instrumentation data, range command and control, flight termination, and position tracking. For submarine launch, selected missile data are stored and retransmitted to allow for missile performance evaluation from intent to launch (ITL) Command through broach. The RSEU sealing design (preventing JP-10 intrusion) satisfies the 60704 JP-10 compatibility requirement on internal RSEU components.�


The solution cannot exceed the physical characteristics listed below and must fit in the mid-body section of a Tomahawk missile. Please note that the MRSS Spec and the TT-SRD-98-0058 System Safety Program Plan will be provided to the Phase I performers.

        Physical Characteristics (current MRSS):

a.     The current MRSS spec (PMA280-1208) does not list a weight nor any other physical and/or dimensional requirements. However, the existing design provides framework for the replacement kit.� Any replacement kit will be constrained by the current design�s mechanical and electrical requirements/characteristics and interfaces with the missile.

b.     Power must be self-contained and independent from a Tomahawk missile

c.     The missile platform contractor will need to rework all center of gravity (CG) calculations based on new MRSS design.


        Transmitting Requirements:�

a.     Transmit missile performance telemetry data and flight termination system status via S-band radio frequency (RF) link.

b.     Position tracking via C-band transponder.

c.     Demodulate an ultra-high frequency (UHF) RF link and provide for override command and control of the missile by a designated RF source.

d.     Provide a discrete signal to the Mission Control Processor (MC I/O) indicating loss-of-tone of Range Safety Carrier.

e.     Initiate missile flight termination action following receipt of any of the indications below:

1.     Receipt of a COMMAND TERMINATE

2.     Receipt of "Loss-of-tone/Initiate Flight Terminate" (SW 35) signal from the Pyro/Power Control Assembly (PPCA) within the missile Guidance Electronics Unit.

3.     CMA bus voltage drops below the specified low operating voltage for the flight terminate receivers.

f.      Provide a pre-launch BIT capability to verify presence of adequate flight termination back-up activation power and operation of flight termination receiver/decoders.


        Shock and Vibration: The MRSS environments must meet CMP3900 Rev B, Appendix E. The FTS components must meet RCC-319 [Ref 1]. RCC-319 typically adds 3-6 db to the expected flight levels. The qualification of the FTS is coordinated with the Range Safety Offices (RSOs) of the ranges where the missile is tested.

        Temperature:� Temperature, pressure and other environment requirements are specified in PMA280-1208, para. 3.2.5.

a.     Material: As specified in PMA280-1208, para.

b.     EMI/EMC/Stress:� As specified in PMA280-1208, para. 3.3.2

c.     HERO:� As specified in PMA280-1208, para.

d.     Built-In-Test (BIT):�� PMA280-1208 specifies BIT requirements as follow:

1.     Para :� Provide a pre-launch BIT capability to verify presence of adequate flight termination back-up activation power and operation of flight termination receiver/decoders.

2.     Para� Pre-launch BIT. When powered with pre-launch power, the MRSS system must provide a continuous BIT check until removal of bus power.

3.     As a minimum, the MRSS shall monitor the performance of the following items:

- Flight termination backup activation power.

- Dual receiver Automatic Gain Control (AGC) voltages.


(These requirements are only for a pre-launch BIT and not a continuous BIT post-launch � a continuous BIT would be �nice to have� and desirable but is not a hard requirement.)


The FTS must meet RCC-319 as negotiated with the RSOs. Telemetry standards are defined in IRIG Standard 109. C-Band Transponder Standards are defined in RCC 254. If launching from a submarine, S9510-AB-ATM-010 must be followed. For the current MRSS kit, this applies to the Lithium Thermal Battery.


For encryption, the MRSS or certain subsystems thereof must follow NSA requirements and procedures regarding accounting, handling and safeguarding the Controlled Cryptographic Item (CCI) and keys; i.e., the encryption chip is a CCI and key erasure is a required function.


Asset Recovery:� Whereas the current Tomahawk testing requirement does not include a need to recover the missile by use of a parachute, that capability may be required in the future. Offerors are requested to consider innovative ways to include that potential capability if possible within the design constraints of the missile. Offerors should consider design options for land and deep-water recovery.


Other Key Requirements:

        The MRSS may not adversely impact or degrade operational performance of the Tomahawk missile

        The FTRs must meet redundancy requirements as outlined in RCC-319.

        The MRSS must meet MIL-STDs for shock and vibration, environmental, etc.

        The MRSS must ensure that any re-certification requirements of subsystem/parts are not less than 3 years.

        Service life must exceed 10 years.

        Unit cost must not exceed $1.0M


The RSO at each flight test range has ultimate authority on all Flight Terminate System matters. The current MRSS design has an embedded NSA encryption chip within the MRSS and keys utilized for operations that enable telemetry encryption.� What these statements mean is there are two external Program Office organizations that could significantly affect the MRSS design.


Work produced in Phase II may become classified. Note: The prospective contractor(s) must be U.S. owned and operated with no foreign influence as defined by DoD 5220.22-M, National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual, unless acceptable mitigating procedures can and have been implemented and approved by the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA). The selected contractor and/or subcontractor must be able to acquire and maintain a secret level facility and Personnel Security Clearances. This will allow contractor personnel to perform on advanced phases of this project as set forth by DCSA and NAVAIR in order to gain access to classified information pertaining to the national defense of the United States and its allies; this will be an inherent requirement. The selected company will be required to safeguard classified material IAW DoD 5220.22-M during the advanced phases of this contract.


PHASE I: Design, develop, and demonstrate the feasibility of a range safety subsystem that supports flight testing of the Tomahawk Weapons System on capable Government open-air test ranges in accordance with the parameters provided in the Description. The MRSS Spec and the TT-SRD-98-0058 System Safety Program Plan will be provided to the Phase I awardees. The Phase I effort will include prototype plans to be developed under Phase II.


PHASE II: Based on the design developed in Phase I, produce a full-scale, operational prototype of the new MRSS. Develop test procedures for demonstrating and validating MRSS. Demonstrate and validate capability to meet range safety requirements.�


Work in Phase II may become classified. Please see note in the Description section.


PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Develop and provide a Product Level Technical Data Package according to MIL-STD-31000B for the MRSS that includes applicable drawings and any special tooling. Finalize and transition to applicable programs.


Successful technology development would benefit the commercial flight safety testing industry.



1. �Document 319-19, Flight Termination Systems Commonality Standard.� Range Safety Group, Range Commanders Council, White Sands Missile Range, June 2019. https://www.wsmr.army.mil/RCCsite/Documents/319-19_FTS_Commonality/319-19_FTS_Commonality.pdf


2. �MIL-STD-31000B, MILITARY STANDARD: TECHNICAL DATA PACKAGE (TDP) (31-OCT-2018).� http://everyspec.com/MIL-STD/MIL-STD-10000-and-Up/MIL-STD-31000B_55788/










KEYWORDS: Mid-Body Range Safety Subsystem, MRSS, Tomahawk Weapons System, RSEU, Flight Termination, Readiness, Lethality



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