The US Navy has conducted successful tests using the latest variant of Aegis Combat System and the Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IIA guided missile aboard the service’s Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS John Finn (DDG-113).

Dubbed ‘Flight Test Standard Missile-45’, the at-sea test events were led by the US Missile Defense Agency (MDA).

During trials, the latest Baseline 9.C2 (BMD 5.1) variant of Aegis produced by Lockheed Martin could successfully detect, track, engage and launch a missile to intercept a medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM) target.

Building upon joint research investments by the US and Japan, the test demonstrated the integrated capabilities of the weapon system to counter and combat advanced and future threats.

“This test authenticates the strengthening global security of the US and its allies as we deepen the defence capabilities with the Aegis BMD system.”

Lockheed Martin Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMD) director Paul Klammer said: “This test authenticates the strengthening global security of the US and its allies as we deepen the defence capabilities with the Aegis BMD system.

“This exercise showed that Aegis is the most advanced combat system and the proven choice for a layered defence.”

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In addition, Flight Test Standard Missile–45 completed the second successful intercept of a ballistic missile target by a Raytheon-built SM-3 IIA missile, which was equipped with Aerojet Rocketdyne’s MK 72 booster that provided the first-stage propulsion on the weapon system.

With its launch, the missile engaged and destroyed a land-launched target resembling an advanced ballistic missile.

Being developed and produced in cooperation with Japanese industry, the next-generation SM-3 Block IIA interceptor has been designed to be deployable both on land and at sea, and is capable of defeating missile threats outside the Earth’s atmosphere.