Weapon Payload & System Development


U.S. defense depends on weapon systems with enhanced survivability, penetration depth, range, and explosive performance, as well as advanced nonlethal and lethal concepts and designs that make weapon systems smarter and limit collateral damage. 


ARA has a long history in offensive Counter-WMD weapon system development and testing, providing warfighter confidence in system capabilities. ARA has been contracted to provide systems engineering and integration support, test planning and execution support, test instrumentation and data analysis, weapon effectiveness analysis and modeling, and weaponeering and attack planning.

ARA expertise includes:

  • Warhead modeling
  • Field tests
  • Instrumentation
  • Data analysis
  • Effectiveness analysis
  • System engineering and integration (SE&I)

ARA assists military contractors in ensuring that aircraft weaponry operates as designed by manufacturing munitions fuzing antennas that control the detonation of missiles, and our expertise in low observability and counter surveillance enables our military to protect its personnel and equipment from a variety of threats, including ground control intercept radars, surface-to-air missiles, anti-aircraft artillery, and airborne interceptors.

During Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, the Pentagon urgently needed a weapon that would be more effective than current penetrating weapons against enemies seeking sanctuary in tunnels and caves. Several services and a defense agency were tasked to develop a more energetic, deeper penetrating and more reliable warhead. The deployment of the resulting warhead was the goal of the BLU-118 Quick Reaction Development project.

To meet the aggressive schedule without sacrificing performance or safety, ARA applied a wide range of expertise and developed custom analytical tools to assess the increased effectiveness of the explosive warhead fill.

From the formation of the ARA and government team until the successful operational demonstration of the new weapon took only 60 days, an exceptional accomplishment compared with the year or more this would have taken in a typical system development.

The new BLU-118 Quick Reaction Development was completed on budget, deployed to forces in the field on schedule, and utilized in the performance of high-priority national security missions.

More recently, ARA has reached a major milestone in the development of the Air Force’s new 5,000 pound hard target penetrator. ARA-developed procedures were used to verify that the design of the weapon parts were accurate, and that the Load, Assembly and Pack (LAP) process was unflawed.

ARA has a long history in weapon system development and testing, and our technical and operational expertise supports new ways to defeat enemy targets, improving outcomes in high-priority national security missions.

Justin Bruno  •  Tel: 505-883-3636