Lockheed Martin’s Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense Weapon System and the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System successfully conducted a complex missile defense flight test resulting in the intercept of two medium-range ballistic missile targets in an operationally realistic environment.
The test was conducted at U.S. Army Kwajalein Atoll/Reagan Test Site and surrounding areas in the western Pacific. The test stressed the ability of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense and THAAD Weapon Systems to defeat a raid of two near-simultaneous medium-range ballistic missile targets. Preliminary data indicate all test objectives were achieved.
“Today’s successful intercepts proved once again that the capability and maturity of the Aegis and THAAD systems are unequaled,” said Mathew Joyce, vice president and program manager for THAAD at Lockheed Martin. “This test demonstrated the benefits of a layered, interoperable approach that can help protect nations from increasing global security threats.”
“The sailors and soldiers manning Aegis BMD and THAAD performed as they would in an operational or tactical scenario,” said Nick Bucci, director for Aegis BMD Programs at Lockheed Martin. “This test showed that sailors and soldiers can plan and execute a complex engagement against multiple targets in an integrated and layered defense architecture that mimics a regional missile defense operation.”
An Army-Navy/Transportable Radar Surveillance and Control (AN/TPY-2) radar in Forward Based Mode (FBM) detected the target and relayed track information to the Command Control Battle Management and Communications system to cue defending BMDS assets.
The USS Decatur detected and tracked the missile with its onboard AN/SPY-1 radar. The ship, equipped with the Aegis BMD weapon system, developed a fire control solution, launched a Standard Missile-3, Block IA missile and successfully intercepted the target.
The FBM radar acquired the target and sent tracking information to the C2BMC system. The THAAD system, using a second AN/TPY-2 radar, tracked the target. THAAD developed a fire control solution, launched a THAAD interceptor missile and successfully intercepted the medium-range ballistic missile. THAAD was operated by soldiers from the Alpha Battery, 2nd Air Defense Artillery Regiment.
Today’s event, designated Flight Test Operational-01, demonstrated integrated, layered, regional missile defense capabilities in a combined live-fire operational test. Soldiers, sailors and airmen from multiple Combatant Commands operated the systems and were provided a unique opportunity to refine operational doctrine and tactics while increasing confidence in the execution of integrated air and missile defense plans.
Ballistic Missile Defense System programs have completed 62 successful hit-to-kill intercepts in 78 flight test attempts since 2001.
The MDA and the Navy are jointly developing Aegis BMD as part of the United States’ Ballistic Missile Defense System. Currently, a total of 30 Aegis BMD-equipped warships – 28 in the U.S. Navy and four in the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force – have the certified capability to engage ballistic missiles and perform long-range surveillance and tracking missions. The number of BMD ships is expected to increase to 36 by 2014.
Since 2005, the THAAD program has successfully completed 12 flight tests, with 11-for-11 successful intercepts. THAAD is one of the few missile defense systems with the operational flexibility to intercept in both the endo- and exo-atmospheres to provide versatile capability to the warfighter.
Separately, as part of the Kwajalein Range Service joint venture, Lockheed Martin employees directed and controlled the radar, telemetry and optics systems on this test at the newly established Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site Operations Center in Huntsville, Alabama. The corporation also recently helped the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command transition testing activities from the U.S. Army Kwajalein Atoll to this operations center, where the first remote missile defense test was controlled and conducted in February. Lockheed Martin supported that milestone with facility selection, design and preparation – and provided hardware and software programs to facilitate these net-centric distributed operations.