The US Army and Missile Defense Agency (MDA) has inaugurated the in-flight interceptor communications system (IFICS) data terminal at Fort Drum, New York, US.
The IFICS data terminal receives messages from exo-atmospheric kill vehicles (EKV) while they are in flight, enabling constant target updates.
It can also transfer the data from the EKV back to a ground-based midcourse defense (GMD) fire control system.
The GMD can engage and destroy intermediate and long-range ballistic missile threats.
MDA and integration programme executive brigadier general William T. Cooley said: “This state-of-the-art facility has enhanced our ability to deter or defeat the limited use of long-range ballistic missiles against our nation.
“It is a vital asset provided to US Northern Command to execute their critically important homeland defence mission.”
The data terminal facility was designed by Black and Veatch and constructed by Black Horse Group, under the supervision of the US Army Corps of Engineers.
Construction on the data terminal began in August 2013, and the site was approved for use by the US Northern Command in December 2015.
There are currently five similar facilities at Fort Greely and Shemya, Alaska; and Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, US.
MDA aims to develop, test and field an integrated, layered, ballistic missile defence system to defend the US and its allies against ballistic missiles.
Image: The data terminal facility was constructed under the supervision of the US Army Corps of Engineers. Photo: courtesy of US Missile Defense Agency.