The U.S. Army and Raytheon have completed the live-fire demonstration phase of the new Accelerated Improved Intercept Initiative program.
Testing took place Sept. 16-30 at Yuma Proving Ground, Ariz. During the tests, the AI3 system destroyed 22 of 24 threats. The demonstration included a “for the record” assessment of AI3 against 107mm rocket targets at different quadrant elevations, as well as mortars, unmanned aircraft systems and improvised rocket-assisted mortars.
“Our warfighters deserve rapid solutions to today’s threats, and thanks to an innovative partnership with the U.S. Army, we have developed and successfully demonstrated AI3’s full capability within 19 months,” said Dr. Thomas R. Bussing, vice president of Raytheon Missile Systems’ Advanced Missile Systems product line. “Along with an outstanding live-fire performance, AI3 met affordability goals by leveraging existing government equipment, incorporating design-to-cost initiatives and integrating into current command and control systems.”
AI3 is designed to protect warfighters by intercepting rockets and other threats in flight. The AI3 Battle Element includes the Ku Radio Frequency System (KRFS) fire control radar; Avenger-based AI3 launcher with technical fire control; Counter Rockets, Artillery and Mortars command and control that is operated virtually on the Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System server stack; and the AI3 missile.
Raytheon provides the interceptor, technical fire control and KRFS radar, and serves as support to the government team, which is the overall systems integrator.
“AI3’s success is a great example of the government and industry working together to reduce costs and quickly provide a vital capability to the war fighter. It was also an excellent use of the Defense Ordnance Technology Consortium – it was a key driver that enabled fast execution of our agreement with minimal overhead,” said Mike Van Rassen, the Army’s program director for C-RAM, citing a collaborative established by the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics.
Once fielded, AI3 will enhance protection to warfighters from rockets, artillery, mortars, cruise missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles.