The surface-to-air missile has been deployed by the US Army to intercept a cruise missile target using newly developed communications technology.
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Lockheed Martin has confirmed its Remote Interceptor Guidance — 360 (RIG-360) communications device — has been deployed for the first time by the US Army during Integrated Flight Test 2.
RIG-360 is designed to enable a 360-degree PAC-3 engagement capability, leveraging target data from a number of sensors.
According to Lockheed Martin, the missile communications technology successfully guided the PAC-3 surface-to-air missile to a cruise missile target, supported by Northrop Grumman’s Integrated Battle Command System (IBCS).
"This successful test confirms our RIG-360 prototype as one of the many ways we continue to deliver technology to ensure our customers stay ahead of the full spectrum of 21st century threats,” Scott Arnold, vice president, integrated air and missile defense at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, said.
Meanwhile, Northrop Grumman’s IBCS created a fire quality track and common operating picture to detect, track, and engage the target.
“IBCS’ ability to integrate with any available networked sensor and effector provides the warfighter flexibility, time and dominance in the battlespace,” Christine Harbison, vice president and general manager, combat systems and mission readiness, Northrop Grumman, said.
“With every unique system test, the IBCS architecture has proven that the system is defining the possibilities of providing command and control across domains.”
This latest test comes a year after Lockheed Martin integrated its PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) with the US Army Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System (IBCS) for the first time.
During flight tests conducted in November 2021, two PAC-3 MSE missiles successfully engaged from IBCS and intercepted tactical ballistic missile (TBM) threats over White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.
This was also the first Field Surveillance Program (FSP) tests for PAC-3 MSE under the US Army project, confirming the reliability and readiness of fielded PAC-3 missiles.
Just last month, Lockheed Martin also opened a new All-Up Round III (AUR III) facility at Camden Operations in Arkansas, built to support a ramp-up in production capacity for the PAC-3 MSE.
Lockheed Martin has increased production numbers of PAC-3 MSE since achieving a full rate production decision in 2018, and currently produces more than 300 PAC-3 MSEs each year — tipped to increase to 500.