On 08 June 2000 the U. S. Navy's Program Executive Officer for Theater Surface Combatants (PEO TSC), in conjunction with the Commander, Third Fleet, concluded a major exercise to evaluate the Navy's progress and accomplishments in developing a Navy Theater Ballistic Missile Defense (TBMD) capability. A Terrier Missile Target (TMT) launches from the Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) Barking Sands, HI, as part of Pacific Blitz, June 8. PACBLITZ is part of the Navy's Theatre Ballistic Missile Defense development. This was the first exercise involving simultaneous tracking of multiple Theater Ballistic Missile Defense (TMBD) targets.
Exercise Pacific Blitz took place off the west coast of Kauai, Hawaii at the Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) located on Kauai. The exercise, held in conjunction with RIMPAC 2000, followed two days of target tracking and joint services interoperability testing. During these events, Navy, Marine Corps, Army, and Air Force systems successfully tracked and shared data on multiple targets simultaneously via the Joint Tactical Information Distribution System (JTIDS) and other common data links.
This exercise is a major step toward achieving joint service interoperability for Theater Ballistic Missile Defense and battle force management. This was a complex exercise coordinating many assets. This series of tests, along with the Pacific Blitz exercise, is considered to be a major contribution in the development of the Navy Area TBMD and Navy Theater Wide TBMD capabilities. The Navy Area TBMD capability will be the first tactical TBMD capability deployed aboard AEGIS destroyers and cruisers.
These events exercised missile defense training and doctrine, validated the Navy's ability to collect TBM tracking data using shipboard radar suites, and demonstrated the ability of AEGIS ships to pass TBM data via JTIDS LINK 16, a major digital communications mode.
A key to the test was software called Linebacker, which enables data collection, tracking and analysis and subsequent distribution to participating units. Linebacker is installed on the guided missile cruisers, USS Laek Erie (CG 70) and USS Port Royal (CG 73). Separately, USS Shiloh (CG 67) tracked threat representative targets with SPY-1 radar, and communicated these tracks to other units via JTIDS link. The Linebacker designation has been given to Lake Erie and Port Royal because of developmental computer program upgrades that allow the ship to detect, track and, when missiles become available, engage applicable theater ballistic missiles.
Lake Erie and Port Royal have served as operational units for the development of doctrine and training, in addition to performance validation of the Navy Area TBMD Program. Shiloh, with the prototype Area Air Defense Commander (AADC) system installed, was used to display and record the missile events throughout the exercise.
Marine Corps participation in Pacific Blitz June 6 included the acquisition and tracking of both a surrogate cruise missile and a TBM-like missile by their TPS-59(V)3 radar. Target information was exchanged by the use of the JTIDS terminal in the Marine's Air Defense Communications Platform (ADCP). The Ballistic Missile Defense Organization and the Navy are co-sponsors in the development of a Navy TBMD capability. Program Executive Officer for Theater Surface Combatants manages the Navy's Area and NTW TBMD programs. Lockheed Martin Naval Electronics and Surveillance Systems (NE&SS) in Moorestown, New Jersey, is the prime contractor for the AEGIS Weapon System (AWS) and the LINEBACKER computer program upgrades.
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