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.
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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.