The U.S. Army and Raytheon has completed a warhead test for the new Accelerated Improved Interceptor Initiative.
Once fielded, AI3 is intended to provide a new level of war fighter protection by destroying incoming rockets, artillery and mortars.
The ground-based system will leverage proven technologies from many of Raytheon’s programs, including the Sidewinder air-to-air missile and Small Diameter Bomb II.
“AI3, which can be fielded by 2014, will save soldiers’ lives,” said Lt. Col. Brent Wilhide, the U.S. Army’s AI3 product manager. “This recent test success was important because it proved the warhead Raytheon will use for AI3 can neutralize the kind of threat AI3 is designed to counter.”
The test, which marked a key milestone in AI3’s 18-month development program, evaluated six different warheads. AI3 is a rapid acquisition program; it is being managed out of the Army’s Counter-Rockets, Artillery and Mortar program directorate and Program Executive Office, Missiles and Space.
“Completing these tests reduces program risk because the warheads met or exceeded all test objectives and performed exactly as predicted,” said Steve Bennett, Raytheon Missile Systems’ AI3 program director. “These tests clear the way for further system integration and testing in 2012 and will enable Raytheon to remain on schedule to provide the Army with this much-needed system.”