Raytheon and the U.S. Army successfully completed the first guided test vehicle flight series of the Accelerated Improved Intercept Initiative program at Yuma Proving Ground, Aris.
The series consisted of two flight tests against different target profiles. In each case after launch, the interceptor initially guided on in-flight radio frequency datalink updates from the fire control radar that was tracking the inbound rocket target threat. The on-board seeker provided the missile’s terminal guidance to intercept the target.
“These tests were the first opportunity to demonstrate the full integration and kill chain of the tactical AI3 Battle Element system,” said Michael Van Rassen, the Army’s Project Director for AI3. “We continue to validate AI3’s enhanced capabilities that will save warfighters’ lives.”
The AI3 Battle Element system consists of the Raytheon AI3 missile and Ku Band Radio Frequency System fire control radar, Avenger AI3 launcher with modified technical fire control, and command and control node. Once fielded, AI3 will enhance protection of warfighters from rockets, artillery, mortars, cruise missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles. AI3 development will culminate in a live-fire engagement scheduled for later this year against a variety of targets. Low-rate initial production is to be determined.
“The success of this first GTV flight test series is a significant milestone for the Army and the Raytheon AI3 team,” said Tom Bussing, Raytheon Missile Systems’ vice president of Advanced Missile Systems. “The interceptor performed exactly as expected. The team continues to demonstrate extraordinary progress in a difficult mission area.”