According to a press release by Lockheed Martin, the company announced that its PAC-3 missile has successfully intercepted a surrogate cruise missile threat at White Sands Missile Range (WSMR), New Mexico, using F-35 as an elevated sensor. The mid-July U.S. Army flight test marks a first in one flight test – F-35 data contributing to the global track used by the U.S. Army Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System (IBCS) to live fire a PAC-3.
IBCS, developed by Northrop Grumman, used the F-35 data with other contributing sensor data to initiate the launch of the PAC-3 to neutralize the incoming threat, using combat-proven Hit-to-Kill technology unique to the Lockheed Martin interceptor.
“Threats continue to evolve, and it’s important that we always stay ahead of them. This flight test shows the impact of what we can do in Joint All Domain Operations when we use the U.S. Army’s IBCS and airborne communications gateways to bring together the world’s only combat-proven Hit-to-Kill interceptor with the world’s most advanced fighter jet,” said Brenda Davidson, vice president of PAC-3 Programs.
Lockheed Martin is evolving technologies that connect, share and learn to empower warfighters with the information needed to quickly make decisions that drive action and enable joint all domain operations (JADO).
F-35 intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) track data was used with IBCS for the first time during OFE 19-2 to enhance situational awareness and provide weapons-quality track data to engage airborne targets with a virtual PAC-3. In December 2019, F-35s were used to provide track data to IBCS to successfully intercept near simultaneous air-breathing threats in a test at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.