KAUAI, Hawaii, Oct. 4, 2013 ñ The Missile Defense Agency, U.S. Navy and Lockheed Martin team successfully intercepted a threat representative, medium-range, separating ballistic missile target using the second generation Aegis Ballistic Missile Defenseweapon system and SM-3 Block IB guided missile.
By successfully launching, tracking, and engaging the newest medium-range ballistic missile target configuration during this operational test, known as Flight Test – Standard Missile-22 (FTM-22), Aegis BMD continued to demonstrate its capabilities to defend against the worldís increasingly sophisticated ballistic missile threats.
Building on the success of last monthís test (FTM-21), FTM-22 marked the eleventh time the USS Lake Erie (CG 70) and crew have successfully performed in Navy and MDA at-sea test events against cruise and ballistic missile targets using the second generation Aegis BMD System.
ìThis threat scenario against a medium-range target represented the potential threats that weíre facing in todayís defense environment ñ and this latest Aegis BMD mission success, run by the Sailors of the USS Lake Erie, demonstrated the readiness of our missile defense capabilities to take on those threats,î said Nick Bucci, director of BMD development programs at Lockheed Martinís Mission Systems and Training business. ìAs the targets and threat scenarios become more advanced, our Aegis BMD system is keeping pace with innovative solutions to safeguard our global security.
The Aegis BMD 4.0.X configuration enables the Navy to quickly defeat sophisticated ballistic missile threats by integrating sensors from space, land and sea for persistent and reliable detection. The central component of the Lockheed Martin-developed Aegis BMD Combat System is the SPY-1 radar, the most widely fielded naval phased array radar in the world. The Aegis system and SPY-1 radar provide the U.S. and allied nations with advanced surveillance, anti-air warfare and missile defense capabilities.
The Missile Defense Agency and Navy are jointly developing Aegis BMD as part of the U.S. Ballistic Missile Defense System. Currently, 27 Aegis BMD-equipped warships have the certified capability to engage ballistic missiles and perform long-range surveillance and tracking missions, as well as an additional four ships in the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force. The U.S. Navy plans to procure seven new Aegis BMD-equipped destroyers, and has also planned to develop two Aegis Ashore systems to perform ballistic missile defense.