Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles
Appendix 4: Undesignated Vehicles
Affordable Weapon
Copyright © 2003-2007 Andreas Parsch

ONR/Titan Affordable Weapon

In May 2002, Titan Corporation received a contract from the U.S. Navy's ONR (Office of Naval Research) to continue the development of ONR's so-called Affordable Weapon concept, a multi-purpose cruise missile using available off-the-shelf components for a significant reduction of development and production costs. Titan produced parachute-recoverable test articles of the Affordable Weapon, which were successfully tested in six flights during late 2002.

Photo: David Antilla, ONR
Affordable Weapon

The Affordable Weapon is launched from its shipping container by a solid-propellant rocket booster, and powered in flight by a small turbojet engine. After launch, the booster is dropped and the missile's wings and tailfins are deployed. Using a GPS navigation system, the missile can autonomously fly to a predetermined target, and in-flight retargeting is possible using line-of-sight or satellite-based data links. Alternatively, the weapon can loiter over a general target area until an observer directs it to a specific location. The Affordable Weapon has a range of more than 1560 km (840 nm), and payload options include several types of warhead and surveillance packages with a weight of up to 90 kg (200 lb).

Photo: David Antilla, ONR
Affordable Weapon

In early 2004, Titan received a contract for further design, development and testing of the Affordable Weapon missile system, and in June 2005 a contract for the production of about 85 missiles for test and evaluation followed. The Affordable Weapon program is still funded as of late 2007, but detailed information about the state of development and flight testing has not been published.

A tactical missile based on the Affordable Weapon design would be slightly modified for increased payload weight and range. If built in quantity, the weapon could supplement the more sophisticated, but also much more expensive, RGM/UGM-109 Tomahawk cruise missiles in U.S. Navy service. The Affordable Weapon will be initially developed for sea-launch, but ground- or air-launched variants are also possible.


Note: Data given by several sources show slight variations. Figures given below may therefore be inaccurate!

Data for Affordable Weapon (original prototypes):

Length (w/o booster)3.32 m (10 ft 11 in)
Diameter34.3 cm (13.5 in)
Weight334 kg (737 lb)
Speed400 km/h (250 mph)
Ceiling4570 m (15000 ft)
Range> 1560 km (840 nm)
PropulsionSWB Turbines SWB-65 turbojet

Main Sources

[1] Titan Corp. Website
[2] ONR Website
[3] Website

Back to Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles, Appendix 4

Last Updated: 27 September 2007