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Posted: 12/4/2007 3:10:16 PM EDT
www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=071204233530.iix59uhf&show_article=1

A US F-16 fighter used an air-to-air missile to destroy a sounding rocket in its boost phase for the first time this week in a test of a new missile defense concept, US spokesmen said Tuesday.
The system -- named the Net-Centric Airborne Defense Element (NCDE) -- breaks new ground in that it would arm fighter aircraft or drones with missiles fast enough to intercept a ballistic missile as it lifts into space.

The aircraft would have to get to within a 100 miles of the launch site to catch the ascending missile in the first two to three minutes after launch.

But it could be very useful in a short range combat situation against short and medium range missiles, said Rick Lehner, a spokesman for the US Missile Defense Agency.

The Pentagon has two other better known boost phase intercept systems under development -- the Airborne Laser and the Kinetic Energy Interceptor -- but those are still years away from being ready, he said.

"So it does give us an initial boost phase capability even though it is a much shorter range missile, and you have to be in the area of the missile launch to be effective," Lehner said.

The test Monday at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico involved an F-16 fighter that fired two modified AIM-9X missile at an Orion sounding or research rocket.

The first destroyed the rocket and the second recorded the interception, the Pentagon's missile defense agency said.

The missile seekers' relayed images of the rocket at close range, demonstrating the capability to acquire and track the target, the Pentagon's missile defense agency said.

"Although not unexpected, the subsequent intercept destroyed the target," it said.

"A second AIM-9X launched during the test observed through its seeker the intercept of the target by the first and was also on a trajectory to intercept the target," the agency said.

Besides special seekers, AIM-9X and AIM-20 AAMRAM are fitted with a new liquid propellant second stage to give it the burst of speed needed to catch a ballistic missile in its boost phase.

Lehner said the missiles were heavily instrumented during the test, but otherwise conditions were "pretty realistic."

Raytheon Missile Systems, which developed the NCADE, said it "provides a revolutionary, low-cost approach to interceptor development and acquisition."



Link Posted: 12/4/2007 3:19:16 PM EDT

A second AIM-9X launched during the test observed through its seeker the intercept of the target by the first and was also on a trajectory to intercept the target


If the second missile was just attempting to intercept the first missile - and the first missile was on a trajectory to intercept the target - then yes, technically, the second missile was also "on a trajectory to intercept the target"...
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 3:20:45 PM EDT
Funny, I always considered the F-16 to be a "guided missile".

Link Posted: 12/4/2007 3:22:59 PM EDT
interesting..... well amazing really.

I am not up on the latest AIM series, is that just a modified package on the latest amin production body?
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 3:24:28 PM EDT
Cool.


I wonder if this "liquid fuel" requirement will be a storage issue.


No way solid propellant can keep up?
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 3:26:29 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Armed_Scientist:
www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=071204233530.iix59uhf&show_article=1



Raytheon Missile Systems, which developed the NCADE, said it "provides a revolutionary, low-cost approach to interceptor development and acquisition."






This I don't understand. The whole concept seems pretty obvious to me


If air-to-air missile are designed for air-to-air targets then ..........

Bring back the Mach 5 Phoenix missile! That would be the obvious choice
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 3:26:50 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 3:36:36 PM EDT
That's one hell of a second stage if you are goiing to make an AIM-9X a 100mi range missile intercept missile. PICS!
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 6:11:20 PM EDT

Originally Posted By danpass:
Cool.


I wonder if this "liquid fuel" requirement will be a storage issue.


No way solid propellant can keep up?


Well if they are using hypergolics for the second stage storage shouldn't be an issue, but nitrogen tetraoxide and asymetric dimethyl hydrazine are some seriously nasty chemicals if you have an issues with the missile.
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 6:27:29 PM EDT

Originally Posted By danpass:

Originally Posted By Armed_Scientist:
www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=071204233530.iix59uhf&show_article=1



Raytheon Missile Systems, which developed the NCADE, said it "provides a revolutionary, low-cost approach to interceptor development and acquisition."






This I don't understand. The whole concept seems pretty obvious to me


If air-to-air missile are designed for air-to-air targets then ..........

Bring back the Mach 5 Phoenix missile! That would be the obvious choice



I dunno, isn't Earth's escape velocity roughly 25000 miles per hour? Thats a bit faster than Mach 5.
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