The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) has conducted a missile defence flight test and successfully destroyed two targets in the vicinity of the US Army Kwajalein Atoll / Reagan test site and surrounding areas in the western Pacific.
The operational test has validated the US Navy’s Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) and the US Army’s Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) weapon system’s ability to function in layered defence role and defeat a raid of two threat-representative ballistic missiles.
During the trials, two medium-range ballistic missile targets were launched towards a defended area near Kwajalein on operationally realistic trajectories.
The complex missile defence flight test was carried out by the US MDA in collaboration with the US Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) Operational Test Agency, Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense and US Pacific Command.
The test also involved the US Army soldiers from the Alpha Battery, second air defence artillery regiment, US Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Decatur (DDG-73) sailors and US Air Force airmen from the 613th Air and Operations Center.
The first target was detected using AN/SPY-1 radar with Aegis Weapon System, fitted aboard USS Decatur while an AN/TPY-2 radar, operating in forward-based mode, detected, discriminated and tracked the target throughout the target’s trajectory.
Following detection of the first target, the USS Decatur’s Aegis Weapon System has launched a Raytheon-built Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IA missile and successfully destroyed the target.
Meanwhile, the US Army’s THAAD weapon system tracked, developed a fire control solution and fired a THAAD interceptor missile and successfully hit the second medium-range ballistic missile target.
Raytheon Missile Systems president, Dr. Taylor W Lawrence, said: "This operational test proves our nation has capable, reliable systems deployed today defending the US and its allies against the growing ballistic missile threat."
Image: USS Roosevelt fired a SM 2 missile during a missile exercise. Photo: courtesy of US Navy.