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28th TES completes AIM-120D SIP-3 testing, establishes new telemetry relay capability

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt Lindsey Heflin
  • 53rd Wing
The 28th Test and Evaluation Squadron completed the final integrated test on the third iteration of the AIM-120D Systems Improvement Program Nov. 2, 2021. Equipped with additional capabilities from the Advanced Electronic Protection Improvement Program for C7 air-to-air missiles, AIM-120D SIP-3 provides the warfighter with enhanced missile performance.
 
Teaming up with the 85th TES aircraft and crew, the 28th TES also collaborated with numerous units under the 53rd Weapons Evaluation Group to incorporate SIP-3 testing into an early fielding opportunity during Weapons System Evaluation Program 22.02, which took place from Nov. 8-19, 2021. 
 
“Early fielding to WSEP provides opportunities to further evaluate weapon system capabilities that have not been fully assessed in operational test due to limited test resources,” said Mr. John Gregory, Air Dominance Operational Test program manager, 28th TES. “The end goal is to identify any potential anomalies in weapon performance as early in the lifecycle as possible in order to optimize CAF weapons employment capabilities.”
 
One of the Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center driven objectives included conducting SIP-3 low-altitude testing. To overcome obstacles with a contract that was no longer viable, the 28th TES contracted with Sunshine Aero Inc. to retrofit four North American Sabreliner Series 40 aircraft with the necessary command and control signal relay equipment to facilitate drone control. The new contract saved the wing nearly three quarters of a million dollars from projected costs.
 
“What we were able to do doesn’t just affect SIP-3 and AMRAAM, it affects any future Gulf Range Drone Control System test,” said Maj. Doug Greenwell, division chief, 28th TES. “Two SIP-3 test missions required this capability, and without it the program would still be in a test world holding pattern. We’ve created a contract vehicle where there wasn’t one before. No one has to start at square one now due to the groundwork laid out by the 28th TES.”
 
With all testing successfully completed, the 28th TES will now transition to the analysis phase. All data will be reported to AFOTEC at the end of this phase, who will then make a recommendation through their Interim Summary Report.   
 
The SIP-3 test event was led by the 28th Test and Evaluation Squadron in collaboration with the 96th Range Control Squadron, AFOTEC Detachment 2, Air Dominance Division of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center Armament Directorate, Raytheon, and a variety of 53rd Wing organizations.
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 For more information, contact 1st Lt Lindsey Heflin, Public Affairs Advisor for the 53rd Wing at 850-598-3283 or lindsey.heflin.1@us.af.mil. 
 
The 53rd Wing provides tactical advantage to the warfighter at the speed of relevance. By testing new operational capabilities and evaluating fielded capabilities, the 53rd Wing is bringing the future faster while answering the warfighter’s demands for integrated, multi-domain capabilities.