HUNTSVILLE, Ala., Nov. 16 (UPI) -- An integrated battle command system using Sentinel and Patriot radar data successfully guided a Patriot-3 interceptor to a cruise missile target missile.
The test using the dissimilar radars for command and control of the Patriot Advanced Capability Three, or PAC-3, interceptor was conducted by Northrop Grumman and the U.S. Army late last week.
Northrop Grumman said the test validated the ability to identify, track, engage and defeat targets using sensors and an interceptor from different air defense systems operating on the integrated fire control network and under the control of the Integrated Air and Missile Defense's Battle Command System.
"The technical challenge of integrating sensors and shooters that were never designed to work together – breaking them from existing systems into components for networking – is tremendous," said Dan Verwiel, vice president and general manager, integrated air and missile defense division, Northrop Grumman Information Systems. "With the successful intercept, the Army and Northrop Grumman team continues to show how IBCS is a paradigm-shifting system of systems for air and missile defense."
The flight test employed an MQM-107 drone target serving as a cruise missile surrogate. It flew a low-altitude trajectory against an asset defended by a battery and battalion IBCS engagement operations centers.
Because the low altitude trajectory, the missile was obscured from the Patriot radar's field of view but the IBCS used the Sentinel composite tracking data to calculate and present the necessary 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.
"IBCS replaces seven legacy C2 systems to deliver a single integrated air picture and offer the flexibility for deployment of smaller force packages," Northrop Grumman said. "By networking sensors and interceptors – as opposed to simply linking them – IBCS provides wider area surveillance and broader protection areas."