DOT&E Director, Operational Test & Evaluation  
FY98 Annual Report
FY98 Annual Report


Navy ACAT ID Program: Prime Contractor
Total Number of Systems:1500 missilesRaytheon Missile Systems Company
Total Program Cost (TY$):$6809MLockheed Martin Government Electronic
Average Unit Cost (TY$):$2.4MSystems (Aegis cruiser)
Full-rate production:3QFY01Service Certified Y2K Compliant
  Yes (initial capability deployment)


The Navy Area Theater Ballistic Missile Defense (NATBMD) system is intended to minimize the vulnerability of U.S. forces and protect population areas against the ballistic missile threat. The mission of NATBMD is to protect amphibious assault forces and coastal cities from short-to medium-range ballistic missiles, while maintaining current Standard Missile capabilities against manned aircraft and cruise missiles. The NATBMD system contributes to three of the four Joint Vision 2010 operational concepts. The NATBMD incorporates state-of-the-art technologies in its sensors, weapons and battle management, command, control, and communications systems. Information superiority enables NATBMD to be fully capable of operating autonomously or in a network receiving and exchanging data with other theater air and missile defense systems and external sensors. The NATBMD system will help Joint Forces in the theater by contributing to full-dimensional protection of the dominant maneuver forces through precision engagement of threat short- to medium-range ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and aircraft.

The NATBMD consists of the following:

Prior to full fleet introduction, the Navy will deploy an interim theater ballistic missile defense capability called Linebacker. This capability will consist of 35 missiles and modified AEGIS Weapon System software (TBMD only), which will be installed on two cruisers. The Navy will use the two Linebacker ships for training and testing, and they are potentially deployable in contingency operations. Twenty-five of the 35 Linebacker missiles will be used in testing. They will be replaced with low-rate initial production missiles to maintain a contingency capability. Linebacker will have a theater ballistic missile defense-only capability or an anti-air warfare-only capability. The objective NATBMD system will be able to defend both threats simultaneously.


The NATBMD system passed Milestone II in March 1997. Program Demonstration and Risk Reduction activities consisted of the following:


The NATBMD TEMP was approved in February 1997. The TEMP includes the complete test matrix for the User Operational Evaluation System (UOES), Developmental Testing, and Operational Testing. Navy testing will examine performance against ballistic missiles, aircraft, cruise missiles, multiple targets, and countermeasures and debris environments. There are four major test phases. The DT/OA will consist of eight missile firings at WSMR (without the Aegis system) during FY99–FY00. The Navy will launch up to four missiles at Lance and HERA targets during the UOES at-sea exercise in FY00. The Navy will fire 25 missiles during at-sea DT and OT phases in FY01. All at-sea phases will be at the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Kauai, Hawaii. Additionally, the Navy will have a UOES target tracking exercise in late FY98 and participate in the FY00 System Integrated Test sponsored by the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization.

The NATBMD program has made significant progress in Y2K certification. The Navy has certified the SM-2 Block IVA missile, the Vertical Launcher System and Aegis Baseline 5, and the Phase III computer program is Y2K compliant. The Aegis Linebacker/UOES program is built off the Baseline 5, Phase III program and has no changes to date to the elements; regression testing is planned. The Baseline 6, Phase III program has Y2K compliance in its contract and will be tested in TECHEVAL/OPEVAL after the year 2000.

The NATBMD LFT&E strategy, consisting of static warhead arena tests, dynamic warhead sled tests, direct hit sled tests, flight tests and other ancillary tests and simulation analyses, was approved by DOT&E, in advance of the TEMP, in August 1996. DOT&E approved the test plan for the SM-2 Block IVA warhead arena tests in November 1997. Phase I arena testing concluded in April 1998.

DOT&E approved the test plan for dynamic warhead sled testing in July 1998. As of August 1998, two warhead sled tests have been conducted at the Holloman Air Force Base High-Speed Test Track in Alamogordo, NM. The sled test data are being evaluated.

Warhead sled testing will continue through 1998 and will be followed by direct hit sled testing in 1999.

The Navy and DOT&E are currently assessing the scope and target types to be used in the UOES at-sea testing. Options include the Short-Range Air Launched Target (SRALT), the Lance, and the land launched HERA. The intent is to develop a UOES test that will maximize the CINC's understanding of the UOES against threat targets.


The Program Demonstration and Risk Reduction phase demonstrated that the Aegis SPY-1 radar could track a theater ballistic missile. In a separate test the Standard Missile demonstrated that it could engage and intercept a Lance target using guidance data from White Sands Missile Range tracking instrumentation. The contractors and the Navy have a long history of evolutionary development of the Aegis and Standard Missile system. However, the Navy has never previously attempted to develop a system capable of acquiring, tracking, and intercepting theater ballistic missiles.

The program continues to work on mitigating several risk areas. The PROGRAM is implementing the Welch Panel's findings from their investigation of the theater missile defense programs. The program has strongly embraced an event driven (vice schedule driven) program. Additional time has been added to the White Sands Missile Range flight test schedule to make it more realistic and to reduce program risk. Additionally, high fidelity hardware-in-the-loop simulation has also been incorporated into the program for a more thorough understanding of the seeker performance capability.

There are several specific areas of technical risk in the program. The Navy did not complete the design for the forward-looking radio frequency fuze prior to Milestone II. It is unclear how that fuze may interfere with the current radio frequency seeker. Discrimination of the target in conditions of multiple objects (countermeasures) and debris is a concern that has not been addressed by testing. Also, the Aegis system may have difficulties maintaining both ballistic missile and anti-air warfare missions given the high radar loading requirements for high-speed, low cross-section theater ballistic missile targets.

Target Verification, Validation, and Accreditation is an issue of concern. The several target options proposed by the Navy all have limitations in terms of signature, flight dynamics, and/or trajectory. The T&E community is working with the Navy to resolve the target issues.

The NATBMD system will likely be delayed about 18 months beyond the schedule above. This is due in part to difficulties encountered during development of the Aegis Baseline VI computer program.

There are difficulties with interoperability between the Navy and Army theater ballistic missile defense systems. There is no command structure planned for Link 16 (Joint Tactical Information Distribution System), to assign targets to specific fire units (Aegis, Patriot, or Theater High Altitude Area Defense System). Current protocols include "statements of intent to engage" and "requests for support," but not "engagement commands." The program has initiated coordination with the Army to resolve the interoperability issues.

The capability of the Navy to capture accurate intercept coordination data and lethality data during flight-testing is currently at risk. Prototype instrumentation proposed to capture fragment strikes and target damage data for intercepts of ballistic missile targets has been partially funded; feasibility testing should be completed on the prototype instrumentation within the next year. If the prototype instrumentation performs successfully, it will greatly enhance the quality and quantity of data that flight tests contribute to lethality evaluations.

The Integrated Process Team program management process has improved significantly over the past year. The Navy is working closely with the T&E community to plan a good T&E program.

Return to Table of Contents