MDA Prepares to Test Reapers for Missile Defense

The Missile Defense Agency intends to demonstrate General Atomics Aeronautical Systems’ MQ-9 Reaper, fitted with Raytheon’s Multi-spectral Targeting System, in a ballistic missile defense role, according to the agency’s director. This material solution is part of the agency’s work to identify an Airborne Infrared, or ABIR, sensor capable of tracking and differentiating large numbers of threat missiles in flight, Army Lt. Gen. Patrick O’Reilly told the House Armed Services Committee’s strategic forces panel. Back in June, MDA completed an analysis of alternatives with the Air Force that recommended continuing to use the Reaper remotely piloted aircraft and MTS-class sensors for completing ABIR concept development, said O’Reilly. In October, the agency purchased four MTS infrared sensors “for higher fidelity testing of early missile tracking concepts,” he told the panel in testimony Wednesday. (O’Reilly prepared remarks)