Northern Arizona Progressive Design
C/o Jason Mendoza
901 s. oíleary st. #111
flagstaff, Az 86001

Phone: 520-518-0049

Project Description

J-9 Umbilical Connector Failure




Raytheon Missile Systems

1151 E. Hermans Road

Tucson, AZ 85706


The J-9 electrical connector transmits information and electrical power from the guidance computer in the airplane to the missile. The missile is attached to the airplane wing or fuselage via the missile rail. The missile rail secures the missile in flight and houses the electrical umbilical retraction assembly. The umbilical is attached to the missile with a buffer connector that protects the J-9 umbilical during missile firing. Milliseconds prior to the missile firing, the J-9 umbilical with the buffer connector attached is retracted into the rail.The buffer is a sacrificial part and is disposed of after each missile is unloaded. If the missile is not attached to the rail, the J-9 connector is protected with a dust cap that screws into the center of the connector. Two models of the dust cap exist. The first model is a cap with a ratcheting screw mechanism to prevent over torquing, and a standard cap that is to be installed with a torque wrench. The second cap has been phased out because of the ability to over torque the dielectric material.


The insulating portion of the J-9 connector is cracking, leading to a shorting of the electrical system.This is a costly malfunction that leads to the failure of the missile and destruction of the missile guidance system. Currently there is not a definitive cause of failure.However, it is implied to be the result of excessive loading in the insulating portion of the J-9 connector. NAPD is to eliminate the insulating material from the load path or otherwise prevent the cracking and shorting of the J-9 connector.For logistics and cost benefits it is desired to create a retrofit that will be easy to implement in the field.

Team Members- Client†† - Project Description- Design Approach†† - Testing- Solution- Pictures