Raytheon Successfully Tests New Air-Launched Missile Defense System

7/24/2007 - TUCSON, AZ -- Raytheon Company has successfully flight tested a key component of the Network Centric Airborne Defense Element missile defense system with the intercept of a test ballistic missile. The Dec. 3 test at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., demonstrated the NCADE infrared seeker's ability to acquire and track a ballistic missile target in the boost phase.

NCADE is an air-launched weapon system designed to engage short- and medium-range ballistic missiles in the boost and ascent phase of flight. NCADE provides an interim or near-term solution to boost or ascent phase threats.

"This test provides clear evidence that the NCADE seeker is a viable solution against a boosting ballistic missile threat," said Mike Booen, Raytheon Missile Systems vice president of Advanced Missile Defense. "NCADE fills a critical niche in the Ballistic Missile Defense system and provides a revolutionary, low-cost approach to interceptor development and acquisition."

An Air National Guard F-16 test aircraft from the Air National Guard-Air Force Reserve Command Test Center, Tucson, Ariz., launched the AIM-9X airframe that carried the NCADE seeker.

The NCADE interceptor leverages many proven components and technologies, including the aerodynamic design, aircraft interface and flight control system of Raytheon's Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile. The commonality with AMRAAM enables NCADE to launch from a wide
variety of aircraft. NCADE's small size enables it to be carried by and launched from smaller unmanned aerial vehicles, providing a potential operational advantage.

NCADE also leverages proven imaging infrared seeker components from existing Raytheon production programs. This enables a potentially rapid development and fielding path.

Last year, Raytheon teammate Aerojet successfully tested the NCADE second stage axial propulsion system, demonstrating the maturity of this new propulsion system. Future testing will involve the missile's divert and attitude control system.

Source: Raytheon Press Release

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