High Altitude, High Speed Target Program Should Either Be Modified To Realistically Simulate the Threat or Be Killed

PSAD-80-52: Published: Jun 2, 1980. Publicly Released: Jun 2, 1980.

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The High Altitude, High Speed Target (HAHST) program has several critical shortcomings which warrant the Department of Defense's immediate attention. Because HAHST is not being developed to meet several of the approved operational requirements, it will not provide a threat-representative target to effectively evaluate the Nation's air defense weapons. Continuing the current HAHST program with these shortcomings is not justified.

HAHST is needed to simulate high speed, high altitude enemy bombers, fighters, and cruise missiles. HAHST must provide realistic radar and infrared signatures together with countermeasures which the enemy will use to interfere with the missiles' sensor systems. It also needs a scoring system to provide the information needed to determine warhead performance. Without these features, HAHST will not be an effective target for testing air defense missiles. An all-aspect radar augmentation system is needed to make HAHST threat representative, and a cooperative vector-scoring system is needed to provide data to evaluate weapon system performance. There is some question as to whether the Air Force should proceed with the current engineering development program. Unless the current contract is modified to provide for development of these payloads, the engineering development program will not provide a threat-representative target for subsequent production.

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