Release Date
November 29th, 2023
Open Date
January 3rd, 2024
Due Date(s)
February 21st, 2024
Close Date
February 21st, 2024
Topic No.


Long Range Strike System


Department of DefenseN/A


Type: SBIRPhase: BOTHYear: 2024


The Department of Defense (DOD) is seeking proposals for the topic of "Long Range Strike System" in their SBIR 24.1 BAA solicitation. The Air Force branch is specifically interested in this topic. The objective is to develop a loitering munition that can be air launched and carry a payload suitable for lightly armed vehicles, along with a small sensor gimbal. The technology should be capable of striking mobile targets, accounting for their rapid movements, and providing increased capabilities for intelligence gathering and target engagement. The project will have a Direct to Phase 2 (D2P2) structure, where Phase 1 proposals will not be evaluated. The Phase 2 goals include developing an air-launched system that can loiter, strike, and disable a lightly armored moving target, while carrying a small sensor payload. The system should be self-contained, easily integrated onto various aircraft, and based on an open architecture for sensor integration. The project will involve design, field testing, and delivery of a prototype for government evaluation. The technology has potential applications in ISR missions and can be transitioned to existing defense applications. The solicitation is closed, and more information can be found on the DOD SBIR website.


OUSD (R&E) CRITICAL TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Integrated Sensing and Cyber


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 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: Develop a loitering munition capable of being air launched that can carry a payload appropriate for lightly armed vehicles and a small sensor gimbal of the 6 or 8 inch class.


DESCRIPTION: Moving targets, similar to lightly armed personnel carriers, have always presented challenges to the Department of Defense from a targeting and strike perspective. There is an ongoing need for a loitering munition capable of striking such mobile targets.


Mobile targets present different challenges than standard fixed targets as they require the munition to account for rapid movements up to the moment of strike. A loitering munition can also provide further increased capabilities around the ability for the munition to wait for an appropriate time to make the strike, whether for intelligence, collateral damage, or better effect on target reasons.


Another key benefit of loitering munition is that they can be air launched and greatly increase the capability of the launching system. Common Launch Tubes (CLTs) are one way to launch payloads like loitering munitions, but they can also be dropped from hard mounts on the wings, or launched from an internal payload bay of the launching system.


PHASE I: This is a Direct to Phase 2 (D2P2) topic.  Phase 1 like proposals will not be evaluated and will be rejected as nonresponsive.   For this D2P2 topic, the Government expects that the small business would have accomplished the following in a Phase I-type effort via some other means (e.g. IRAD, or other funded work). It must have developed a concept for a workable prototype or design to address at a minimum the basic capabilities of the stated objective above.  Proposal must show, as appropriate to the proposed effort, a demonstrated technical feasibility or nascent capability to meet the capabilities of the stated objective.  Proposal may provide example cases of this new capability on a specific application.  The documentation provided must substantiate that the Offeror has developed a preliminary understanding of the technology to be applied in their Phase II proposal to meet the objectives of this topic.  Documentation should include all relevant information including, but not limited to technical reports, test data, prototype designs/models, and performance goals/results.


PHASE II: Develop a new method or system that is air launched and can loiter and strike and disable a lightly armored moving (up to 80km/h) target while carrying a small sensor payload

i.          Develop and demonstrate a system that is capable of safely separating and transitioning to flight when launched from a King Air or similar aircraft

ii.         Develop and demonstrate a system that is capable of transiting up to 20km when launched from 5kft AGL at speeds from 80-130 TAS

iii.        Develop and demonstrate system that can carry a warhead powerful enough to destroy lightly armored personnel carriers and a small sensor gimbal of the 6″ or 8″ class.

iv.        Develop and demonstrate a system that can strike a vehicle moving down a road at up to 80 km/hr

v.         Develop matrix of operational tradeoffs relating to employing the new system

vi.        Generate Interface Control Document (ICD) and overview descriptions in parallel with the system development.

vii.       System needs to be self-contained and easily integrated onto a variety of aircraft

viii.      System needs to be based on an open architecture to allow for integration of various sensors

Complete the design of the system, demonstrate performance of a prototype system through field testing, and deliver the prototype for subsequent evaluation by the government.


PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: The Government has an interest in transition of the demonstrated concept to existing defense applications. Solution has further applications in ISR missions with the capability of swapping out the warhead for other payloads.



Department of the Air Force Operational Imperatives,; 
Liebhardt, B., Pertz, J. (2022). Automated Cargo Delivery in Low Altitudes: Business Cases and Operating Models. In: Dauer, J.C. (eds) Automated Low-Altitude Air Delivery. Research Topics in Aerospace. Springer, Cham.;
Dauer, J.C., Dittrich, J.S. (2022). Automated Cargo Delivery in Low Altitudes: Concepts and Research Questions of an Operational-Risk-Based Approach. In: Dauer, J.C. (eds) Automated Low-Altitude Air Delivery. Research Topics in Aerospace. Springer, Cham.;


KEYWORDS: Loitering munition, long range, Group 1, Group 2, Group 3, warhead, mobile target engagement, moving target