The U.S Army’s most advanced Patriot missile variant misfired during a recent Integrated Battle Command System (IBCS) test at White Sands, N. M., Missile Range, last week.
Two interceptors were to go up against a Black Dagger Zombie missile target during the tests. “The IBCS system did what it was designed to do by deploying a PAC-3 Cost Reduction Initiative (CRI) missile when the PAC-3 missile segment enhancement (MSE) missile misfired. It continued the engagement and took out the tactical ballistic missile,” Col. Phil Rottenborn, IBCS project manager, told Defense News on Wednesday.
An additional CRI was available but was not launched due to the system’s confirmation that an interceptor had destroyed the target.
“Root cause analysis on the MSE misfire is ongoing, but preliminary indications are that all IBCS commands to the launcher were executed successfully,” Rottenborn remarked, adding that the error may lie within the missile.
Rottenborn quickly noted the MSE weapon is “a proven and capable missile with a great track record, and I’m confident the team will sort this out quickly.”
Another IBCS missile defense system test will be conducted through September, and a production decision is anticipated by the end of the year.