Seventh Fleet Tests Innovative Missile Defense System During Pandarra Fog

From U.S. 7th Fleet Public Affairs

GUAM – Seventh Fleet and the Navy Warfare Development Command tested maritime obscurant generator prototypes June 21-25 to assess their tactical effectiveness for anti-ship missile defense.

The systems and tactics were tested under a variety of at-sea conditions using assets from the U.S. Army, Navy, and Air Force to evaluate how radar-absorbing, carbon-fiber clouds can prevent a missile from detecting and striking its target as part of a layered defense.

Vice Adm. Robert L. Thomas Jr., Commander U.S. 7th Fleet, kicked off the multi-ship experiment in Guam. “Pandarra Fog is example of the quick-turn integrated technical and tactical development the Fleet is doing to master electromagnetic maneuver warfare and assure access of joint forces,” said Thomas.

Pandarra Fog showed the value of quickly bringing together scientific and joint forces to tackle our hardest warfighting problems. This isn’t just smoke or chaff, this is high tech obscurant which can be effective against an array of missile homing systems” said Antonio Siordia, U.S. 7th Fleet’s Science Advisor.

USS Mustin (DDG 89), USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108) and USS Frank Cable (AS 40) test maritime obscurants held south of Guam to assess their tactical effectiveness for anti-ship missile defense.  The systems and tactics were tested under a variety of at-sea conditions using Seventh Fleet units and assets from the U.S. Army, Navy, and Air Force to evaluate how radar-absorbing, carbon-fiber clouds can prevent a missile from detecting and striking its target as part of a layered defense. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Timothy Wilson

USS Mustin (DDG 89), USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108) and USS Frank Cable (AS 40) test maritime obscurants held south of Guam to assess their tactical effectiveness for anti-ship missile defense. The systems and tactics were tested under a variety of at-sea conditions using 7th Fleet units and assets from the U.S. Army, Navy, and Air Force to evaluate how radar-absorbing, carbon-fiber clouds can prevent a missile from detecting and striking its target as part of a layered defense.
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Timothy Wilson

To explain in simple terms, a shipboard device generated carbon-fiber particles suspended in a cloud of smoke, which can absorb or diffuse radar waves emanating from the seekers of incoming missiles and potentially obscure the target from the missile.

The experiment demonstrated maritime obscurant generation can be a key enabler of offensive maneuver of the Fleet despite the global proliferation of anti-ship cruise and ballistic missiles

“We are developing a layered approach using a full spectrum of active and passive capabilities to give us the advantage. It is not just about the technology, but also practicing how the Fleet will employ these emerging capabilities” said Capt. David Adams, who leads the 7th Fleet Warfighting Initiatives Group.

“A defense in depth approach has a lot of advantages. Not only do we know the smoke is effective, it adds a level of uncertainty and unpredictability to the equation,” said Adams.

In addition to having a significant level of effectiveness, the systems are relatively inexpensive when compared to other countermeasures and can be tactically employed through typical Fleet maneuvers. The materials are environmentally friendly and sized to maximize operational effectiveness.

“Our initial assessment is the testing was very successful in terms of tactical employment, usability and cost-effectiveness.” said Adams.

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