Navy ACAT ID Program Prime Contractor
Total Number of Systems:1500 missilesRaytheon Missile Systems Company
Total Program Cost (TY$):$6710MLockheed Martin Government Electronic
Average Unit Cost (TY$):$2.4MSystems (AEGIS cruiser)
Full-rate production:3QFY03 


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: full-dimensional protection, precision engagement, and dominant maneuver. Navy Area supports:

The NATBMD consists of the following:

Prior to Milestone III and fleet introduction, the Navy will deploy an interim theater ballistic missile defense capability called LINEBACKER. This system will serve as a User Operational Evaluation System and will possess a limited contingency capability. The LINEBACKER system consists of AEGIS Weapon System software installed on two cruisers and 35 missiles. Prior to Initial Operating Capability, LINEBACKER ships have either a theater ballistic missile defense capability or an anti-air warfare capability. The objective NATBMD system will be able to engage all threats simultaneously.

The Navy will use the two LINEBACKER ships for training and testing. They will be deployable in contingency operations. Twenty-five of the 35 LINEBACKER missiles will be used in at sea testing during DT/OT and OPEVAL. They will be replaced with LRIP missiles to maintain a contingency capability.


The NATBMD system entered Milestone II/Phase II in March 1997. Program Demonstration and Risk Reduction (PD&RR) activities consisted of the following:


The NATBMD TEMP was approved in February 1997. The TEMP includes the complete test matrix for LINEBACKER (previously called the User Operational Evaluation System or UOES), DT and OT. EMD phase testing will examine performance against ballistic missiles, aircraft, cruise missiles, multiple targets, and countermeasures/debris environments. Supporting the Milestone III decision in FY03 are four major test phases:

The LINEBACKER system, deployed onboard USS LAKE ERIE (CG-70) and USS PORT ROYAL (CG-73), has demonstrated the ability to detect, track, cue other sensors and TBMD systems and simulate engagements against TBMD targets. LINEBACKER was evaluated extensively during the Navy Theater Wide Test Target Vehicle (TTV-1) firing in 1QFY99, Navy Fleet exercises in 3QFY99, and the Theater Missile Defense Critical Measurements Program event 3A (TCMP-3A) in 4QFY99. The primary Navy Area objective for TCMP 3A was to collect AEGIS LINEBACKER radar data to be used for engagement assessment studies in support of IMPACT 98.

The Navy and DOT&E are currently assessing the target types and scope of testing to be used in LINEBACKER at sea testing. Options include the Short-Range Air Launched Target (SRALT), the Lance, and the land launched HERA; all options have inherent limitations. The various test and target working groups are working to mitigate as many limitations as possible. These tests will collect data to support an assessment for the Theater Commanders of LINEBACKER's warfighting capability against recognized threat systems.

The NATBMD program has made significant progress in Y2K certification. The Navy has certified that the STANDARD MISSILE-2 Block IVA missile, the Vertical Launcher System, and AEGIS Baseline 5 Phase III computer program are Y2K compliant. The AEGIS LINEBACKER program is built off the Baseline 5, Phase III program. The Baseline 6, Phase III program has Y2K compliance in its contract and will be tested in developmental and operational testing after the year 2000.

The NATBMD LFT&E strategy for 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 August 1996. DOT&E approved the test plan for the STANDARD MISSILE-2 Block IVA warhead arena tests in November 1997. Phase I arena testing concluded in April 1998 with the following test and results:

DOT&E approved the test plan for dynamic warhead sled testing in July 1998. Warhead sled testing was conducted at the Holloman AFB High-Speed Test Track in Alamogordo, NM from July 1998-January 1999. A dynamic warhead sled test report was published in June 1999. The sled tests series included:

Warhead sled testing will be followed by a direct hit sled testing series, fragment projector testing, and the second phases of warhead sled testing and arena testing in late 1999. Based on current lethality data and predictions for the first phase of body-on-body lethality tests, we believe that the second phase of sled tests may be unnecessary. Appropriate adjustments to the lethality test plan will be dependent upon the outcome of the phase one body-on-body lethality sled testing.


The Navy, AEGIS, and STANDARD MISSILE contractors have a long history of evolutionary development of the AEGIS and the Standard Missile system. However, the Navy has yet to demonstrate an integrated system capable of acquiring, tracking, and intercepting theater ballistic missiles. The PD&RR phase demonstrated that the AEGIS SPY-1 radar could track a theater ballistic missile and, 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 program has strongly embraced an event driven program. Utilizing lessons learned from the Welch Panel on Ballistic Missile Defense, two additional risk reduction flights have been added to the White Sands Missile Range flight test schedule. These additional tests will address the first two risks listed below. In addition, high fidelity hardware-in-the-loop simulations have been incorporated into the program for a more thorough understanding of the seeker performance capability. Engineering and Manufacturing Development technical risks include:

Ballistic Missile target verification, validation, and accreditation is a concern. Of the several target options proposed by the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO) for Navy at sea testing, all have various limitations in terms of signatures, flight dynamics, trajectory, and/or navigational accuracy. Achieving fidelity to the threat across these regimes, as well as being able to precisely place the target into the defended area is critical to the evaluation and assessment of effectiveness. The T&E community is working with the Navy and the BMDO to resolve target issues.


Notwithstanding the aforementioned risk areas, the program is technically solid. There are several remaining technical and test issues that could challenge the development schedule.

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