Air Force News

ESC deploys missile tracking system

Released: Apr 27, 1998

by Roy K. Heitman
Electronic Systems Center Public Affairs

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. (AFNS) -- Two prototype missile tracking systems developed by Electronic Systems Center here are enhancing the security of the Republic of Korea after being deployed for use by the 7th Air Force there.

Known as the Expert Missile Tracking system, it provides 7th Air Force with a unique theater missile defense capability and enhances other systems used to detect and track air breathing vehicles.

A team of ESC and Northrop Grumman people installed, tested and demonstrated the hardware and software in Korea.

The system consists of two types of interconnectable components: a radar missile tracker and a correlator. The tracker is integrated into an AN/TPS-75 radar shelter and receives and processes radar plots from a modified AN/TPS-75 radar to detect and track tactical ballistic missiles and display relevant missile data.

The correlator is located in the Hardened Tactical Air Control Center at Osan Air Base, Korea, where it receives and processes radar plot data from the two radar systems that are deployed to Korea. The correlator can process data from up to four radars.

The tracker and correlator are capable of establishing and displaying a missile launch point, heading, impact, missile type, time-to-impact and track quality. Both three-dimensional and tabular displays are used for effective presentation of highly time critical information.

The modified radar system is transportable by truck or helicopter. It could be moved to a new location and be in operation again in less than a day.

"All activation testing and training activities were successfully completed with the deployment of this system," said Program Manager Capt. Thomas Killeen, of the Combat Air Force Command and Control system program office.

"With the exception of a timing problem, since corrected, relating to the transmission of track data over a satellite communications link, the deployment went very well.

"Placing these ESC-developed Expert Missile Tracker modified radars on the Korean peninsula gives the commander of U. S. Forces Korea an enhanced active Theater Missile Defense capability.

"We had planned additional field testing at Eglin (Air Force Base, Fla.) but were able to cancel it and save money because testing requirements were satisfied during the Korean deployment," Killeen said.

One of the radar units is located on a Republic of Korea radar site, while the other radar is at a U.S. base south of Seoul. The EMT correlator is located at Osan AB.

The next major milestone in the program is a production decision by Air Combat Command to integrate and install the EMT modification in the AN/TPS-75 radars throughout the Air Force inventory.


* Air Combat Command
* Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.
* Electronic Systems Center
* Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass.
* Osan Air Base, South Korea