Northrop Grumman Space & Mission Systems has been awarded an $110 million contract for the Gray Wolf cruise missile science and technology demonstration effort, on Dec. 18.
The indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract was awarded by the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) located at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. Fiscal 2017 and 2018 research and development funds in the amount of around $3 million are being obligated at the time of award.
The contract provides for the design, development, manufacture, and testing of prototype-affordable sub-sonic tactical cruise missiles employed in networked, collaborative operations in support of defeating enemy Integrated Air Defense System (IADS) in highly contested environments. The program is a spiral development effort, using open architectures and a modular design to enable testing of multiple variant full-scale prototypes.
Work will be performed in Redondo Beach, California, with an expected completion date of Dec. 17, 2024.
A $110 million contract for the effort was also awarded to Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control.
AFRL Gray Wolf
Gray Wolf is a classified science and technology demonstration program managed by the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Munitions Directorate.
The program will offer prototypes of an affordable, networked, standoff cruise missile to be used against enemy integrated air defense systems (IADS). An integrated air defense system puts all antiaircraft sensors (e.g., radar, visual observers, and other technical means) as well as antiaircraft weapons (e.g., anti-aircraft artillery, surface-to-air missiles (SAM), air superiority fighters and interceptors, etc., under a common system of command, control, communications and intelligence (C3I).
The end products are meant to broaden the service’s portfolio of weapons that can be deployed in highly contested environments.
According to a U.S. Air Force spokesperson, the operational concept is to employ Gray Wolf in concert with current inventory weapon systems to enhance overall mission effectiveness.
Air Force officials want to determine whether the missile can be effectively used in networked, collaborative formations, and to define the tactics, techniques and procedures needed to do so.