US Prepares for First Sea-Based Missile Defence Test

10 April 2011 (Last Updated April 10th, 2011 18:30)

The US is gearing up for its first sea-based missile defence test, known as FTM-15, against longer-range missiles this month, the Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency spokesman Richard Lehner has said. The scheduled missile test will test the Lockheed Aegis shipboard combat system and a Rayt

The US is gearing up for its first sea-based missile defence test, known as FTM-15, against longer-range missiles this month, the Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency spokesman Richard Lehner has said.

The scheduled missile test will test the Lockheed Aegis shipboard combat system and a Raytheon missile interceptor capability against an intermediate-range ballistic missile target (2,000-3,500 miles).

The Aegis-equipped ship will be placed in the south central Pacific and the ballistic missile target will be launched from Kwajalein Atoll, central Pacific.

Plans to host the Raytheon X-band radar by a south-eastern European country that would transmit data to the Aegis ships are also being considered by the US, according to Reuters.

Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance head Riki Ellison marked the test as proof of concept for the Obama administration.

"It is tremendously important that it's a success as this exact architecture is to be deployed in Europe by the end of this year in the first phase of Obama's plan," he added.