The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) and the United States Missile Defense Agency (MDA) announced the successful completion of an Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) intercept flight test, in cooperation with the U.S. Navy, off the coast of Kauai in Hawaii. The event, designated Japan Flight Test Mission 3 (JFTM-3), marked the third time that a JMSDF ship has successfully engaged a ballistic missile target, including two successful intercepts, with the sea-based midcourse engagement capability provided by Aegis BMD.
The JFTM-3 test event verified the newest engagement capability of the Japan Aegis BMD configuration of the recently upgraded Japanese destroyer, JS MYOKO (DDG-175). At approximately 6:00pm (HST), 1:00 pm Tokyo time on Oct 28, a separating, medium-range ballistic missile target was launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Barking Sands, Kauai, Hawaii. JS MYOKO crew members detected and tracked the target. The Aegis Weapon System then developed a fire control solution and, at approximately 6:04pm (HST), 1:04 pm Tokyo time a Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IA interceptor missile was launched. Approximately 3 minutes later, the SM-3 successfully intercepted the target approximately 100 miles above the Pacific Ocean. JFTM-3 is a significant milestone in the growing cooperation between Japan and the U.S. in the area of missile defense.
Also participating in the test, were the Pearl Harbor-based USS Lake Erie (CG 70) and USS Paul Hamilton (DDG 60) which detected and tracked the target and conducted a simulated engagement.
Before returning to Japan, JS MYOKO will be loaded with additional SM-3 Block IA missiles. The ship will arrive in Japan ready to provide additional ballistic missile defense capability against the increasing ballistic missile threat present in that region.