NATO tests new missile defence assets
A successful ‘Ensemble Test 2’ conducted by the NATO Communications and Information (NCI) Agency confirmed the compatibility of a new Italian sensor with the Alliance’s ballistic missile defence architecture.
The Agency’s Ballistic Missile Defence Programme Office conducted the large-scale multinational test from 25 to 29 September 2012.
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This was the second in a regular series of test events that are conducted between Nations who contribute their missile defence resources to the collective defence of the Alliance’s European populations and territory. The purpose of the ‘ensemble’ tests is to reduce technical risks to the programme as various sensors, weapon and communication systems are incrementally added to the defence architecture.
Successful integration of Italian radar
“Special mention goes to the successful test and integration of the Italian TPS-77 radar, which was a new asset being tested,” said Programme Director Alessandro Pera, “The test showed that the Italian TPS-77, as a BMD sensor, is able to contribute to NATO’s ballistic missile defence situational awareness.”
Twelve laboratories from five Nations across two continents took part; a total of sixteen national and NATO systems were integrated and tested during this ambitious test. The participating systems included:
- the Patriot missile defence systems of The Netherlands, Germany and the United States,
- the ADCF Frigate of the Royal Netherlands Navy,
- the surface to air medium range missile defence systems (SAMP/T) of France and Italy,
- the SAM Operations Centre from Germany,
- the Tactical Transportable Radar (TPS-77) and the Horizon PAAMS (Principal Anti Air Missile System) of Italy,
- the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defence System, the Command and Control, Battle Management, and Communications system (C2BMC), the Army Navy / Transportable Radar Surveillance (AN/TPY-2), and the Shared Early Warning System (SEW) of the United States,
- the Air Command and Control System (ACCS), the Air Command and Control Information Services (AirC2IS), CRC System Interface (CSI), and the Interim Command and Control (ICC) system of NATO.
Conducted over NATO’s Combined Federated Battle Lab Network (CFBLNet), the ensemble test provided an invaluable opportunity to work with NATO operators on realistic scenarios.
“The event was very much a team effort, with a special thanks to the Agency’s CFBLNet, AirC2IS, ICC and NIRIS teams,” said Mr. Pera, “From planning to execution, ET2 required almost one year’s worth of effort. Thanks to thorough preparation, the test execution phase was actually completed in half the planned time which saved both time and money for the participants.”
The test confirmed NATO’s ability to work with both existing and new national systems to provide BMD situational awareness and command and control of missile defence forces. This major milestone in the development and future deployment of the NATO ballistic missile defence capability will be followed by an even more ambitious effort, Ensemble Test 3, to be conducted in May-June 2013.
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Source : NATO