AI3 control vehicle tests successfully completed
The Accelerated Improved Intercept Initiative (AI3) programme is reported to be on schedule and moving toward fielding following the successful completion of control test vehicle (CTV) flights. Raytheon and the US Army conducted the test flights as part of a company-led effort to demonstrate the effectiveness of the system elements.
The AI3 programme is being conducted in response to a US Army requirement for enhanced warfighter protection through the development of a system capable of destroying a wider array of incoming rockets, artillery and mortars than previously deployed solutions.
The CTV tests saw the Ku-Band Radio Frequency System (KRFS) fire control radar detect the inbound threat, determine that the threat would impact in a defended area, and provide command guidance via datalink to the AI3 missile.
Raytheon said that the AI3 missile then successfully manoeuvred on a calculated trajectory necessary to intercept the 107 mm rocket target. In subsequent missions, an onboard semiactive radar seeker will perform terminal guidance to target intercept.
Steve Bennett, AI3 program director, Raytheon, said: ‘With the completion of the CTV flights, the AI3 programme remains on schedule. Raytheon is committed to providing an affordable and highly effective solution to save warfighter lives.’
Lt. Col. Brett Wilhide, US Army project manager for AI3, added: ‘The AI3 programme has made excellent progress to date. We are now ready to progress to the guided test vehicle flight test phase of the programme. Those tests will demonstrate the full integration of the tactical AI3 battle element system to intercept threat targets.’
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