COBERTURA ESPECIAL - Brazilian Industrial Base

January 28, 2015 - 18:00 ( Brasília )

MECTRON Developes Guidance System for Short-Range Missile

MECTRON finishes prototype and brings Brazil closer to world’s great missile-developing powers

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Brazilian company MECTRON, one of ODEBRECHT Defesa e Tecnologia (ODT)’s subsidiaries, finished the prototype for the Autonomous Control and Guidance Unit, which aims to demonstrate the technology required in order to develop a guiding system to be used in a short-range surface-air missile such as the IGLA-S.
Considering that guidance subsystem is the most complex one in a missile, MECTRON’s prototype represents a great step forward for Brazil to create original technology, as well as developing classified components currently available only in the United States and Russia.

The system is part of the UAGC project, tasked to MECTRON by the Brazilian Army in March 2012, and funded by state-run company FINEP. Since a surface-air missile needs to be lightweight and easy to transport, reducing its measures was one of the greatest challenges for the development team.  The smaller size also renders the UAGC unique.

According to Lucas Ferreira Supino, UAGC’s contract manager, “we had to reduce the guidance system to 8 centimeters (aprox. 3 inches) - half of the original diameter of other guidance equipments previously created by MECTRON”.

Supino says the miniaturization challange had two main steps:

1 - When it comes to wider missiles, electric users can be used to support any mobile parts. In the smaller prototype there’s no room for these engines. For the missile to move as needed, its own components were adapted to function as engines

2 - Another restriction caused by the narrower design is limited energy entrance for the missile’s optical system. In practical terms, its target-detection range is reduced. Currently, the UAGC’s range is similar to that of the IGLA-S.

For Thomaz Tavares, Infrared Missile Contract director for ODT/MECTRON, the technological achievements delivered by the UAGC prototype are expected to trigger more efforts toward a Brazilian-built surface-air missile, taking the UAGC from prototype to production item.

The guidance system may also pave way for the development of other missile components, such as missile actors, proximity fuses, warheads, rocket engines and launching tubes. “We have already mastered the greatest challenge, the guidance system. In terms of technology, it is now completely feasible for us to create and build an entire missile”, says Tavares.

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