Lockheed’s Aegis ballistic missile defence (BMD) system has for the first time successfully detected and destroyed an intermediate-range ballistic missile during a test off the coast of Hawaii, US.

The Aegis BMD system, employed on the USS O’Kane (DDG-77) ship, has also for the first time used a launch-on-remote capability AN/TPY-2 radar to detect threats and fired a Standard missile.

Lockheed maritime ballistic missile defence programmes vice-president Lisa Callahan said Aegis has evolved from an anti-ship missile system to the basis for the US approach to global missile defence.

“With this test, Aegis BMD proves that it can expand the battlespace and destroy ballistic missile threats earlier in their trajectory than ever before,” she added.

About 25 Aegis BMD-equipped ships are currently deployed on 21 US Navy ships and four Japanese destroyers.