Patriot Advanced Capability-2 (PAC-2) Guidance Enhanced Missile-TBM (GEM-T) interceptors conducted simultaneous engagement of two incoming target cruise missiles during a flight test.
The test was conducted by the U.S. Army at the White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico using its Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) Battle Command System (IBCS), developed by Northrop Grumman.
The test demonstrated successful interoperability and the end-to-end performance of the IBCS system to detect, track and simultaneously engage multiple threats.
A test detachment of soldiers from the Army’s 30th Brigade 3rd Battalion 6th Air Defense Artillery Regiment manned the workstations and executed the engagement plan presented by IBCS. The friendly forces defense laydown consisted of a battalion, two battery IBCS engagement operations centers, a Patriot radar, two Sentinel radars and two PAC-2 launchers. Also contributing to the test were a U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) AN/TPS-59 joint radar connected to an external Link 16 network and F-35 fighter aircraft with sensors adapted to IBCS. All these systems were connected to the IBCS Integrated Fire Control Network (IFCN).
Designed to emulate potential real-world events, the flight test began when two cruise missile surrogate threats were launched. The cruise missiles flew in a maneuvering formation until they neared their targets, and then split off to attack two separate defended assets. IBCS fused data from the various participating sensors and external networks into accurate composite tracks of both threats. Then it developed the engagement plan employed by the soldiers to successfully launch two PAC-2 missiles and intercept both cruise missile targets.
“Today’s successful flight test further demonstrates the maturity of the Integrated Battle Command System and its capabilities in support of Multi-Domain Operations,” said Maj. Gen. Rob Rasch, Army Program Executive Officer, Missiles and Space. “The inclusion of Marine Corps and Air Force sensor systems in the test architecture validate the system’s open architecture and the potential for IBCS to operate seamlessly with joint services, as well as foreign partners in the future, to extend battlespace and defeat complex threats.”
“Building on the success of the most recent flight test this past August, today’s test demonstrates that IBCS is achieving unprecedented performance in defeating multiple missile threats,” said Dan Verwiel, vice president and general manager, missile defense and protective systems, Northrop Grumman. “Taking advantage of all available resources in the battlefield, IBCS enhances battlefield survivability by enabling 360 degree sensor coverage, and enables highest probability of defeat by ensuring the most effective weapon is used to intercept each threat.”
Patriot Guidance Enhanced Missile-TBM (GEM-T)
The Guidance Enhanced Missile, or GEM-T, is one of the highly successful Raytheon Patriot missile variants available to both U.S. forces and international customers.
The GEM-T missile provides improved ability to defeat tactical ballistic missiles, also known as TBMs, aircraft or cruise missiles in complement to the PAC-3 missile.
A modernized, digital fuze eliminates obsolescence and introduces significant performance improvements against TBM targets. This design increases sensitivity for improved performance against high-speed TBM targets. The low-noise front end of the GEM-T has increased seeker sensitivity for better acquisition and tracking. The new low-noise oscillator has a modified down-link, which provides a higher signal-to-interference ratio, improving acquisition and tracking of small airborne threats and cruise missiles in clutter.
The Configuration-3 ground equipment, PAC-3 and GEM-T series of missiles were proven in combat during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System (IBCS)
The Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System (IBCS) is a revolutionary command-and-control (C2) system developed by Northrop Grumman to deliver a single, unambiguous view of the battlespace.
This significantly enhanced aircraft and missile tracking improves the ability of combatant commanders and air defenders to make critical decisions within seconds. With its truly open systems architecture, IBCS enables integration of current and future sensors and weapon systems and interoperability with joint C2 and the ballistic missile defense system.