Raytheon touts datalink for missiles

March 12, 2013 at 3:30 PM
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WALTHAM, Mass., March 12 (UPI) -- Raytheon says more European naval vessels could be equipped with the U.S. Standard Missile-3 in the future.

The sentiment follows a test using Ratheon's dual-band datalink with a Thales Nederland Advanced X-band Phased Array Radar, which is part of a radar suite used by the Danish, Dutch and German navies.

The test validated the company funded datalink's ability to send and receive communications in either X-band or S-band frequencies.

"Right now, few of Europe's naval ships can participate in the 'upper tier' ballistic missile defense of NATO countries because their radars cannot communicate with the SM-3 (Standard Missile-3)," said Wes Kremer, vice president of Air and Missile Defense Systems for Raytheon Missile Systems.

"A common datalink that operates with both X- and S-band radars is a very affordable, near-term solution that allows Europe to take advantage of proven technologies available today."

U.S. and NATO ships communicate with interceptor missiles in either X- or S-band. Norway, Spain and the U.S. operate S-band AEGIS-equipped missile defense ships. The advanced SM-3 is part of that system. Germany and the Dutch missile defense frigates, however, use the X-band frequency.

The United States has that problem with its own ships.

"The dual-band datalink has significant implications for our U.S. Navy customers as well, because it allows them to save money by eliminating the need to maintain two separate inventories of Standard (family) Missiles for the Zumwalt (X-band) and Aegis (S-band) ship classes," Kremer said.

Raytheon has self-funded development of the datalink.

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