U.S. Department of Defense - Missile Defense Agency

U.S. Department of Defense - Missile Defense Agency

Site Map
Official logo of the US Missile Defense Agency

Missile Defense Agency

MDA News Release

5700 18th Street, Bldg 245
Fort Belvoir, VA 22060-5573

Sea-Based Missile Defense Test Conducted

September 1, 2011

The Missile Defense Agency was unable to achieve the planned intercept of a ballistic missile target during a test over the Pacific Ocean exercising the sea-based element of the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS).

At approximately 3:53 a.m. Hawaii Standard Time (9:53 a.m. EDT) a short-range ballistic missile target was launched from the U.S. Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai, Hawaii. Approximately 90 seconds later, a Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) Block 1B interceptor missile was launched from the cruiser USS LAKE ERIE (CG-70) but an intercept of the target was not achieved.

This was the first flight test of the advanced SM-3 Block 1B interceptor missile. Program officials will conduct an extensive investigation to determine the cause of the failure to intercept.

There have been 22 successful intercepts in 27 at-sea attempts since Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense flight testing began in 2002, including the successful intercept of a malfunctioning U.S. satellite by a specially-modified SM-3 Block 1A missile in February, 2008.