F-16 Tests New Boost-Phase Interceptor:

The Missile Defense Agency just successfully tested an AIM-9X missile modified with the Raytheon-developed Net-Centric Airborne Defense Element, firing it from an F-16 to intercept a boosting rocket used as a target boost-phase missile. According to an MDA release, the Dec. 3 test over the White Sands Missile Range included a second modified AIM-9X that observed the intercept through its NCADE seeker and “was also on a trajectory to intercept the target.” Raytheon Missile Systems VP Mike Booen said in a company statement, “This test provides clear evidence that the NCADE seeker is a viable solution against a [short- and medium-range] boosting missile threat.” MDA notes that fighters or unmanned aerial vehicles could carry an NCADE-equipped missile where the aircraft could “penetrate to within about 100 miles of the [missile] launch site.” The Air National Guard-Air Force Reserve Command Test Center at Tucson, Ariz., provided the F-16.