Short Range Air Launched Target Successfully Launched

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  1. Someoneforyou

    Someoneforyou Regular Member

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    Short Range Air Launched Target Successfully Launched
    UNITED STATES - 11 JULY 2011

    The Missile Defense Agency successfully completed a flight test involving the launch of a Short Range Air Launched Target (SRALT) at the Naval Air Warfare Center, Weapons Division-Point Mugu Sea Range, California. This flight test, designated FTX-17, successfully demonstrated an upgraded air launch and umbilical pull separation system, which had been redesigned to correct problems identified during previous tests.

    At 7:04 p.m. PDT (10:04 p.m. EDT) on July 8, 2011, the SRALT missile was deployed from a U.S. Air Force C-17 transport aircraft over the Pacific Ocean approximately 500 miles west of the California coast. The target missile was extracted from the rear of the C-17 aircraft by parachute. The missile’s rocket motor then ignited, sending it on a planned trajectory over the Pacific Ocean.

    The target missile’s flight was successfully tracked by several missile defense sensors in California, including an AN/TPS-59 Tactical Missile Defense Radar at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, an X-band AN/TPY-2 radar at Vandenberg AFB, and the Upgraded Early Warning Radar at Beale AFB. Preliminary indications are that all data collection objectives were met.

    This flight test was also used as a target of opportunity for several emerging missile defense technologies. Two Space Tracking Surveillance System (STSS) demonstration satellites tracked the target and transmitted data to the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS). This was the first demonstration of stereo acquisition and track handover of a short range target by the STSS satellites. Other participants included the Command, Control, Battle Management and Communications (C2BMC) Experimentation Laboratory, Integrated Sensor Manager, Enterprise Sensors Laboratory (ESL), Near-Field Infrared Experiment (NFIRE), and the Airborne Infrared (ABIR) program.



    Source: U.S. Missile Defense Agency
     
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  3. Someoneforyou

    Someoneforyou Regular Member

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    STSS Demonstrator Satellites, Built by Northrop Grumman, Track Short-Range, Air-Launched Rocket in Missile Defense Test
    UNITED STATES - 19 JULY 2011

    NAVAIR SEA RANGE, POINT MUGU, Calif., July 19, 2011 -- The Space Tracking and Surveillance System (STSS) demonstration satellites successfully acquired and tracked a short-range, air-launched target (SRALT) July 8 in a test that showed their ability to track dim objects that have extremely short flight timelines. The satellites were built by Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC), prime contractor, and Raytheon Company, sensor payload provider, for the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA). The exercise verified target capabilities and did not involve an intercept attempt.

    "Air-launched targets have a wide variety of trajectories. There's nothing predictable about their flights. The STSS demonstrators successfully tracked this target and collected key data about test conditions and the dynamics of air-launched targets that will be valuable for MDA's predictive capability," said Doug Young, vice president of missile defense and missile warning programs for Northrop Grumman's Aerospace Systems sector.

    One single-stage, solid-fueled rocket was drop-launched from the rear of a C-17 cargo aircraft by MDA over the Pacific Ocean Test Range near San Nicolas Island off the Central California coast. The SRALT was selected as a target because it closely replicates realistic engagement scenarios.

    "This was the first time the STSS sensors have been tested against air-launched targets, and they performed flawlessly," said Bill Hart, vice president, Raytheon Space Systems. "Against such short-range targets, split seconds count. That's why a near-immediate reaction system like STSS is so important to our national defense."

    Plans call for the STSS satellites to continue on-orbit testing by participating in a series of performance demonstration tests with ground, airborne, resident space objects and ballistic missile targets to reduce the risk of an operational constellation of space-based sensors for missile defense.

    According to MDA, the additional flight tests will demonstrate the ability to track various targets, providing critical demonstrator performance characterization while progressing towards closing the fire control loop with Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) interceptors using space-based infrared tracking.

    MDA is operating STSS as an experimental space layer of the BMDS. Using sensors capable of detecting visible and infrared light, the STSS satellite constellation is part of a collection of land-, sea-, air- and space-based BMDS sensors. They are gathering critical engagement conditions and empirical measurement event data, among other missions.



    Source: Northrop Grumman Corporation
     
  4. Someoneforyou

    Someoneforyou Regular Member

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    Northrop Grumman Performs First-Time Cueing of Airborne Infrared Sensor in Missile Defense Test With the Integrated Sensor Manager
    UNITED STATES - 10 AUGUST 2011

    Critical Concept Advances Phased Adaptive Approach for Protection Against Emerging Threats

    NAVAIR SEA RANGE, POINT MUGU, Calif., Aug. 10, 2011 -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has successfully completed the first test to demonstrate real-time cueing of the Airborne Infrared (ABIR) sensor for the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) with the Integrated Sensor Manager (ISM). The company's ISM completed the early intercept proof-of-concept exercise by participating as an associated operation in the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) FTX-17 test on July 8.

    ISM is a prototype capability Northrop Grumman is developing for the MDA to enable more accurate tracking and threat identification for intercepting a missile earlier in flight. These improvements are required for the MDA's Phased Adaptive Approach (PAA) that will integrate incremental capabilities over several years to enhance defense against emerging ballistic missile threats.

    During the test, ISM received 2-D measurements received from space-based sensors observing the FTX-17 target, which was drop-launched from the rear of a C-17 cargo aircraft over the Pacific Ocean Test Range off the California coast. ISM formed and provided 3-D tracks to MDA's Experimentation Laboratory (X-Lab). After receiving a tasking command from the X-Lab, ISM sent a cue to the ABIR sensor at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., and continued to provide cue updates as new measurement data was received.

    "ABIR is a critical element for the PAA and our successful test shows we can command that sensor to generate actionable information to enable earlier intercept," said Kelley Zelickson, vice president of air and missile defense systems for Northrop Grumman Information Systems. "It's a significant achievement to execute the ISM's first-time live cueing of an ABIR sensor to bring us closer to the desired Aegis launch-on-remote capability."

    MDA's current operational concept envisions the ABIR platform and sensors forward in theater for early detection and surveillance of the threat. The ISM FTX-17 exercise utilized a ground-based ABIR sensor. Future experiments will progress with multiple, airborne sensors and more complex scenarios over the next two years.
    ISM is being developed under an MDA Joint National Integration Center Research and Development Contract task order.

    The Command, Control, Battle Management, and Communications ISM prototype capability will demonstrate improved ability to task sensors for acquisition, correlation and tracking; generate position, velocity and acceleration data of objects in flight; perform target feature extraction and discrimination for early identification of threats; and optimize the use of limited sensor and interceptor resources to defend against growing missile threats. The task order requires participation in flight and ground tests to validate performance.

    The BMDS is a complex system of sensors, interceptors and a command and control, battle management and communications network. The integration of these many elements will enable a robust, layered defense to deter and defend against a hostile missile attack.



    Source: Northrop Grumman Corporation
     

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