The U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command recently announced the selection of the Boeing-Bristol Team's Excalibur target system to provide tactical ballistic missile training targets (TBMTT) for live-fire training of tactical Patriot units.
The Boeing Company and Bristol Aerospace of Winnipeg, Canada, have entered into a teaming agreement for the pursuit of the theater ballistic missile target market.
"We are pleased to join with Bristol Aerospace in this business area," said Mike Marks, vice president and general manager of Boeing's Weapons Programs. "This is an opportunity for us to expand our business base while providing a key training tool for the U.S. Army."
The Excalibur target system includes a solid propellant booster and an inert second stage dart that carries a Boeing-designed Radio Frequency Signature Augmentation System (RF SAS). The target flies a ballistic trajectory profile that may be tailored to simulate various threats. The Bristol Division of the Magellan Aerospace Corporation developed and manufactured the Excalibur dart as a high altitude supersonic target for the Canadian navy.
In July 1999, during the Roving Sands air defense firing exercise, the Excalibur was used in the first tactical ballistic missile target engagement at the McGregor Range in New Mexico. Three Excalibur targets were launched. They were detected, tracked and classified as threat theater ballistic missiles by German and Dutch Air Force Patriot batteries, with successful engagements. In May 2000, the U.S. Army 108th Air Defense Brigade also successfully employed five Excalibur targets during a live-fire exercise at McGregor Range.
Boeing and Bristol's teaming for the theater ballistic missile target market builds upon a long history of cooperation in the targets field. Boeing has also provided its technology to Bristol for the U.S. Army's HOKUM-X rotary wing target, and Bristol was a key teammate in Boeing's Drone RF Electronic Enhancement Mechanism program for the U.S. Air Force, which involved the MQM-107 subscale aerial target.
The Boeing-Bristol Team is now preparing to offer Bristol's proven Black Brant sounding rocket as a medium-fidelity theater ballistic missile target. Boeing will provide its guidance technologies and integration expertise in offering the Black Brant as a cost-effective solution for U.S. and international theater ballistic missile target requirements.