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EMBEDDED COMPUTING: Massive ballistic missile defense test uses Mercury's OpenVPX embedded computing

The largest and most complex missile-defense flight test ever attempted, which engaged five ballistic and cruise missiles at the same time, used OpenVPX-based radar processing subsystems from Mercury Systems in Chelmsford, Mass.

The U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) Flight Test Integrated-01 (FTI-01) live fire missile defense exercise employed the Patriot air and missile defense system and the Aegis ballistic missile defense (BMD) system at the U.S. Army's Kwajalein Atoll/Reagan Test Site in the Pacific Ocean and at Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii. Mercury's embedded computing subsystems are integrated into the Patriot and Aegis systems.

An integrated air and ballistic missile defense architecture used several sensors and missile defense systems to engage five targets at the same time.

The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system intercepted its first medium range ballistic target in history, and Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) near simultaneously destroyed a short range ballistic missile and a low-flying cruise missile target over water.

Mercury's OpenVPX-based radar processing subsystems are used in Raytheon's Patriot system which detected, tracked, and intercepted a short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) target during the test. Mercury also provides subsystems and technology integration services to Lockheed Martin for the Aegis system, which tracked a SRBM threat and launched an SM-3 Block 1A interceptor in this exercise.

The live-fire demonstration at the Kwajalein Atoll/Reagan Test Site, Hickam Air Force Base, and surrounding areas in the western Pacific, stressed the performance of the Aegis ballistic missile defense, THAAD, and Patriot weapon systems.

The USS Fitzgerald engaged a low-flying cruise missile over water. The Aegis system also tracked and launched an SM-3 Block 1A interceptor against a Short-Range Ballistic Missile. However, despite indication of a nominal flight of the SM-3 Block 1A interceptor, there was no indication of an intercept of the SRBM.

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