US-based amorphous alloys developer Liquidmetal Technologies has supplied missile canards to Lockheed Martin, which are being fitted for a future test of its EAPS (extended area protection and survivability) missile.
The EAPS is a 1m-long agile, hit-to-kill missile interceptor, which is designed to neutralise rocket, artillery and mortar (RAM) targets, and to reduce probabilities for collateral damage.
Weighing around 3kg, the system provides soldiers with greater protection and increased flexibility over legacy and temporary systems, by supporting multiple launchers and fire control sensors, as well as defeating targets through body-to-body impact at tactical ranges.
Canards are made by using a Liquidmetal alloy, which will allow to meet the close geometric tolerances required for supersonic flight.
The tolerances are expected to be met with CNC Machining, which is very costly and each part requires detailed inspection and measurement.
In contrast, Liquidmetal parts are expected to meet tolerances consistently, with each parts’ shape and weight expected to be identical.
The Liquidmetal parts are expected to include greater strength to weight than steel or titanium, and can be produced in large volumes with short lead times.
Liquidmetal Technologies business development EVP Dr Bruce Bromage said: "Lockheed Martin has been an ideal development partner for this breakthrough application for Liquidmetal Technologies, creating a high-precision, high-performance part at a lower cost."
Lockheed Martin is engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services.
Image: Lockheed’s extended area protection and survivability system during a controlled test vehicle flight test. Photo: courtesy of Lockheed Martin.