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


Navy ACAT I-D Program: Prime Contractor
Total Number of Systems:4 Ships, 80 MissilesStandard Missile Company (missile)
Total Program Cost (TY$):$4073MLockheed Martin Government Electronic
Average Unit Cost (TY$):TBDSystems (Aegis Ship)
Milestone II:1QFY03Service Certified Y2K Compliant
Full-rate production:3QFY05Yes (initial capability deployment)


The Navy Theater Wide (NTW) system is a response to the vulnerability of U.S. forces and protected populations to the ballistic missile threat. The mission of NTW is to provide upper-tier protection against longer range threats. NTW will provide the capability to intercept missiles from ascent phase through exoatmospheric descent. The NTW system contributes to three of the four Joint Vision 2010 operational concepts. The NTW system incorporates state-of-the-art technologies in its sensors, weapons, and battle management, command, control and communications systems. Information superiority enables NTW 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 NTW system will help ensure that Joint Forces enjoy full spectrum dominance in the theater by being a primary contributor to full-dimensional protection of the dominant maneuver forces through precision engagement of longer-range threat ballistic missiles.

The current NTW program consists of the Standard Missile–3 (SM-3) and upgrades to the Aegis Weapon System. The SM-3 will evolve from the SM-2 Block IV booster and sustainer motor by the addition of a third stage rocket motor and fourth stage kinetic kill vehicle guided by an infrared focal plane array seeker. The Aegis Weapon System will be modified to enable longer-range exoatmospheric theater ballistic missile detection, tracking, discrimination, and engagement.


The initial basis for NTW was the TERRIER Light Exoatmospheric Projectile (LEAP) demonstration program, which occurred between September 1992 and March 1995. The LEAP program consisted of four modified Standard Missile flight tests. Two flight tests occurred without targets, and two flight tests against targets failed to intercept. One of the failed intercepts was due to a software error and the other was due to battery failure.

NTW is currently in pre-Milestone I, which is scheduled for early calendar year 1999. The Navy is staffing the TEMP for approval in time to support the Milestone 1 DAB. The Navy plans to field a "Block I" missile with a single color long-wave infrared seeker. Research is ongoing on the potential development of a two-color "Block II" seeker; however, there is currently no funding for acquisition of the Block II capability.


The Navy is currently funding the Aegis LEAP Intercept Program as follow-on to the LEAP Program and as part of the Program Definition and Risk Reduction Program (PD&RR). The Aegis LEAP Intercept Program consists of seven missile firings against the single stage ARIES target between August 1999-December 2000. The first two flights will be SM-3 missiles flying on ballistic trajectories without targets. The third firing will be a target "fly-by" to characterize the seeker performance. The last four firings will be intercept attempts.

After ALI, there will be six Threat Representative Target firings during FY02. These firings will be against the ARIES or Hera targets modified to be a threat surrogate target. These firings, the ALI firings, and high fidelity hardware-in-the-loop testing used to determine the capability of SM-3 against separating targets will support the Milestone II decision.

he Navy is still developing the LFT&E strategy for NTW. In late 1996, the Navy instituted a five-year SM-3 Lethality and Analysis Program, in conjunction with the AEGIS LEAP Intercept Program, to reduce risks associated with missiles. The lethality program includes light-gas-gun testing, kill-enhancement device testing, target vulnerability model development, direct-hit sled testing, hydrocode analyses, and other ancillary tests and analyses. Those tests and analyses also support the development and design validation of SM-3.

The Navy has made significant progress with Aegis Y2K certification. The Navy has certified the following as Y2K compliant: the SM-2 Block IVA missile, the Vertical Launcher System and Aegis Baseline 5, Phase III computer program. The initial NTW capability will operate autonomously and will be built off the Baseline 5, Phase III computer program. Regression testing is planned. The Baseline 6, Phase III program has Y2K compliance as a contract requirement and will be tested in TECHEVAL/OPEVAL as the system matures.


NTW is a high-risk program with several challenging technical aspects. Ascent phase intercept has not been demonstrated. Discrimination of the target from fuel chuffing or missile plume in the ascent phase may be difficult. The AEGIS radar which is designed for acquisition and tracking of relatively large aircraft targets may have insufficient power to autonomously acquire low signature ballistic missile targets at long range. External cueing of the radar should ameliorate this challenge.

The Integrated Product Team process has improved significantly over the past year for the NTW program. Negotiations with the Navy have produced a solid PD&RR program, and mapped out an EMD program with a reasonable and somewhat challenging schedule.

The scope of PD&RR testing is now considered adequate. To address DOT&E's concerns, the Navy added the ETRT flights to PD&RR, and has increased the hardware-in-the-loop testing. PD&RR should provide a solid measure of Block I systems potential capability. EMD testing, which now includes 20 missile firings and combines extensive hardware-in-the-loop and digital modeling and simulation, should provide an adequate assessment of the Block I systems effectiveness and suitability.

The NTW program is developing a LFT&E strategy for lethality that will be incorporated into the Milestone II TEMP.

The Integrated Product Team program management process has significantly improved on the NTW program over the past year. Negotiations with the Navy have produced a solid Program Definition and Risk Reduction Phase T&E program.

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