The US Army and Northrop Grumman Corporation say they have successfully intercepted a cruise missile at an extended range using the Army Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) Battle Command System (IBCS) with Sentinel and Patriot radars and a Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) interceptor.
The firm says that the flight test demonstrated the value of IBCS to detect, track and engage the low-flying threat at a distance well beyond the range limitation of the current Patriot system.
“This is an important event proving IBCS ability to enable next-generation concepts such as ‘engage-on-net,’” said Dan Verwiel, vice president and general manager, missile defense and protective systems, Northrop Grumman.
“This flight test also shows how IBCS ‘extends the battlespace’ to allow ‘shoot-look-shoot’ opportunities, maximizing the probability of destroying the threat, which is critical as threats increase in sophistication. The successful test – with IBCS in a near-operational environment – provides confidence IBCS is delivering transformational warfighting capabilities, including all the advantages of intercepting a threat close to its origin.”
The flight test was conducted at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, and began when a drone target, serving as a cruise missile surrogate, flew a low altitude trajectory against an asset defended by an Army IAMD task force.
According to a release:
“The defence consisted of battery and battalion IBCS engagement operations centers, a Patriot radar and two Sentinel radars, and two PAC-3 launchers connected at the component level to the IBCS integrated fire control network.
Because the low altitude flight path of the target obscured it from the Patriot radar’s field of view, the IBCS correctly used measurement data from the Sentinel radars to form a composite track from which IBCS calculated and presented the engagement solution.
The engagement operations center operator then commanded, via the IBCS mission control software, the launch of a single PAC-3 interceptor missile to destroy the target.”