The new generation of ground-to-ground and air-to-ground weapon systems that employ intelligent seekers require ground targets with visual, infrared, acoustic and radar signatures that accurately emulate the real version of the threat. The Surface Targets (ST) program is responsible for managing the acquisition and certification of actual threats, as well as development, prototype fabrication and validation of ground target surrogates to meet these requirements. TMO provides centralized management, sustainment and control of two components: Mobile Ground Target Hardware (MGTH), and Mobile Ground Target Operations (MGTO).

The MGTH component provides a wide variety of actual and surrogate vehicles, range targetry, Small- Unmanned Aerial System (S-UAS) and seaborne targets for specific test scenarios.  All targets can be either remotely controlled moving or stationary, depending on the test requirement. These targets are the highest priority based upon the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command’s (ATEC) test-specific requirements.   The following target types are currently available but others can be acquired upon request:

  • Actual Foreign Threat Assets
  • Surrogates
    - Precision Target Signatures
    - Metal Targets
  • Irregular Warfare Vehicles
  • Silhouettes
  • Mannequins
    - Thermally Augmented
    - Integrated onto Mobile Platforms
  • Range Targets
  • Small Unmanned Aerial Systems
  • Seaborne Assets
  • Camouflage, Concealment, Deception & Obscurants (CCD&O)

The MGTO component provides the methods and procedures for the management, utilization, operation, control and support of foreign mobile ground targets, surrogate assets and equipment. MGTO consists of a fleet of operational foreign vehicles and equipment used as threat targets for test and evaluation as well as training. The vehicles are located at five primary operating centers (POCs) that have the capability to perform operations and maintenance of the foreign assets. The POC locations are Aberdeen Test Center, MD; Eglin Air Force Base, FL; Redstone Test Center, AL; White Sands Missile Range, NM; and Yuma Test Center, AZ.

As a whole, the ST project acquires and maintains foreign materiel assets in a “ready” state to meet weapon system developer needs in a timely manner.  Due to the fact that it takes between 9-24 months to receive foreign materiel via typical contractual means, threat systems and spare parts from OEM organizations are procured, stocked and used as needed. Working in tandem, the MGTH component provides emerging threats and MGTO provides the ability to sustain assets.  If sustainment is not accomplished on the foreign material on a routine basis, these systems will become inoperable. If vehicles are inoperable they are not available for use by weapon system developers and would result in significant operational impacts for multiple Army weapon systems; thus resulting in Army PMs not having enough of necessary targets readily available for test and meeting Milestone DT/OT events.

System Interdependencies


Foreign Military Sales