Technology Driven ·  Warfighter Focused

US Army Materiel Command logo US Army logo

Low Cost Zinc Sulfide Missile Dome Manufacturing


Develop and demonstrate advanced manufacturing methods and processes that will provide a capability to produce affordable multi-mode windows and domes for the new generation of sensors for missiles, munitions, and surveillance systems.


The existing material choice for long wave-infrared (LWIR) and semiactive laser domes is multispectral zinc sulfi de (ZnS), but current manufacturing processes are expensive and time consuming, resulting in major cost and lead time issues for missile systems that employ LWIR seekers. Variability of the current chemical vapor deposition (CVD) process limits repeatability of grown material.

Current processes [CVD and hot isostatic pressing (HIP)] are time-consuming, and yields are low. The objective of this effort is to develop and demonstrate manufacturing processes that are optimized for the production of durable, multi-spectral ZnS domes at a substantially lower cost and shorter lead time than currently available.


Forecasted achievements are:
― Improved control of ZnS process parameters
― Improved zinc (Zn) flows
― Increased uniformity (ZnS thickness profile)
― Increased deposition rate
― Minimized size and concentration of inclusions and fibers in the ZnS domes due to improved dust exhaust management
― Improved yields by obtaining a more uniform deposition profile
― Minimized cracking by employing better tooling design
― Increased number of dome sites through better management of the Zn source
― Reduced cycle times for all processes.


• Reduces dome cost by 62%
• Increases yields by 36%
• Increases strength by 43%
• Promotes competition among ZnS producers


• Initial trades complete and on schedule
• Project transitioned to Non-Line-of-Sight Launch System (NLOS-LS) in FY09
• Project transitions to Joint Air-to-Ground Missile (JAGM) in FY11


• Joint Air-to-Ground Missile (JAGM)
• Small Diameter Bomb II—Air Force
• Military systems employing ZnS windows and sensors


• Return on Investment of 19.4 to 1 with a cost benefi t of $156M

POC: Army ManTech Manager, U.S. Army Research, Development, and Engineering Command (RDECOM), Aviation Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center (AMRDEC), Manufacturing Science & Technology Division, ATTN: RDMR-SEM, 5400 Fowler Road, Redstone Arsenal, AL 35898-5000

If this is your first visit, please read our Security Disclaimer: All Web surfers are welcome at the U.S. Army ManTech Website and it is important that you understand the following: This is an official United States Government Information System for authorized, unclassified use only. The system is monitored to ensure information security, system integrity, and the limitation of use to official purposes. Parts of this server are available for use by non-DoD individuals. Some links on this website are locked. (If the area is locked there will be a notation to that effect next to the appropriate link). Your use of this system is subject to monitoring at all times. Unauthorized or illegal activities, involving this system, can result in criminal prosecution under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986.
Do not discuss, enter, transfer, process, or transmit classified and/or sensitive national security information of greater sensitivity than that for which this system is authorized. Use of this system constitutes consent to security testing and monitoring. Unauthorized attempts to upload information or change information on this service are strictly prohibited and may be punishable under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986 and the National Information Infrastructure Protection Act.