U.S. Army
Denewsjune10 1 Figure

Multimode Seeker Strikes Successfully at Redstone Arsenal

June 10, 2020
The U.S. Army is greatly encouraged by the performance of an upgrade to the Precision Strike Missile system at the Redstone Arsenal in Alabama during two days of testing.

The U.S. Army reports outstanding results for its first open-air testing of an advanced multimode seeker during two days of recent testing at the Redstone Arsenal in Alabama. The new seeker is meant as an upgrade to the Precision Strike Missile system, adding advanced Spiral One signal tracking capabilities. The experimental missile tracking system was operated at 50% capacity, tracking moving targets while mounted on a pod under the wing of an aircraft. The multimode seeker stems from the Land-Based Anti-Ship Missile program that began in 2015 to help the Army target enemy ships with its long-range precision fires capability. During its development, it was learned that the system was also capable of tracking radio signals from land-based targets as well as ships, such as mobile radars and communications systems on vehicles. The use of multiple sensors makes it possible to locate targets of interest even without good coordinates.

“We think we’re on the right track,” said Brigadier General John Rafferty, director of the Long-Range Precision Fires Cross-Functional Team. Rafferty explains that the Army hopes to field the Precision Strike Missile system in 2023, with the Spiral One capability integrated by 2025. The functionality will extend the firing range of the Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) by more than 500 km. “We’ve got our eyes wide open on the development of this program,” said Rafferty. “We have a small intelligence and targeting team. And one of their primary functions is to make sure that in our approach to developing weapon systems that we have the right targets in mind.” Mike Turner of the Aviation and Missile Center at Redstone Arsenal, added: “We think that's going to provide significant advantage to us in our long-range fires, rockets, and missiles.”

Miniaturization of multiple on-board processors has made it possible for the seeker system to acquire and track multiple targets within a small housing. Part of the testing will explore operation at full capacity, with testing moving to the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico during autumn 2020. Rafferty acknowledges that industry partner, Lockheed Martin, can be credited for outstanding safety measures during the testing. 

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