Missile Defense Agency
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Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System Completes Successful Intercept Flight Test14-NEWS-0012
November 6, 2014
The Missile Defense Agency, U.S. Pacific Command, and U.S. Navy Sailors aboard the USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53) successfully conducted a flight test today of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) system, resulting in three successful near-simultaneous target engagements over the Pacific Ocean by the Aegis Baseline (BL) 9.C1 (BMD 5.0 Capability Upgrade) Weapon System configured ship. One short-range ballistic missile target was intercepted by a Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IB guided missile, while two low-flying cruise missile targets were engaged by Standard Missile-2 (SM-2) Block IIIA guided missiles near-simultaneously.
At approximately 12:03 p.m. (Hawaii Standard Time, 5:03 p.m. Eastern Standard Time) one short-range ballistic missile target and two cruise missile targets were launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) on Kauai, Hawaii. Following the target launches, the USS John Paul Jones, in Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) Radar Priority Mode, detected and tracked the missiles with its onboard AN/SPY-1 radar.
The ship, equipped with the Aegis BMD weapon system, developed a fire control solution and launched one SM-3 Block IB guided missile to engage the ballistic missile target. The SM-3 missile maneuvered to a point in space and released its kinetic warhead. The kinetic warhead acquired the target’s reentry vehicle, diverted into its path, and destroyed the target with the sheer energy and force of direct impact. The ship also launched two SM-2 Block IIIA guided missiles to successfully engage the cruise missile targets.
Program officials will evaluate system performance based upon telemetry and other data obtained during the test.
This test, designated Flight Test Standard Missile-25 (FTM-25), was the first live-fire event of the Aegis Weapon System in IAMD Radar Priority Mode, engaging a ballistic missile target and a raid of cruise missile targets.
Other test participants included discriminating sensors flown on two MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles and sensor systems ashore, Command and Control, Battle Management, and Communications (C2BMC) Enterprise Sensors Lab, C2BMC Experimentation Lab, and the Aegis Ashore Missile Defense Test Complex located at PMRF.
FTM-25 marks the 29th successful intercept in 35 flight test attempts for the Aegis BMD program since flight testing began in 2002. Across all Ballistic Missile Defense System programs, this is the 66th successful hit-to-kill intercept in 82 flight test attempts since 2001.
The MDA will use test results to improve and enhance the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) and support the advancement of Phase 2 of the Phased Adaptive Approach for missile defense in Europe to provide protection of U.S. deployed forces and our European allies and partners.
Aegis BMD is the naval component of the BMDS. The MDA and the U.S. Navy cooperatively manage the Aegis BMD program. Additional information about all elements of the BMDS can be found here.