The US Navy, the Missile Defense Agency and Lockheed Martin have successfully completed the first live fire intercept test of Aegis Ashore at the Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF), demonstrating the system’s ‘Launch on Remote’ capability.

During testing, Aegis Ashore used information from another radar system to launch an intercept missile before switching to its own SPY-1 radar to guide that missile to the target.

Lockheed Martin Aegis Ashore programmes director Brendan Scanlon said: "This Launch on Remote capability helps broaden the reach of Aegis systems by allowing individual Aegis units to use data from networked sensors to track and engage threats.

"This Launch on Remote capability helps broaden the reach of Aegis systems."

"This test speaks to the flexibility of the Aegis concept, where we can network together the proven capabilities of Aegis with other missile defence systems to create a total ballistic missile defence shield."

Built by Lockheed, this Aegis Ashore system was intended for deployment at the new site in Romania, and is scheduled to start operations this year.

The Aegis Ashore system also supports the US phased adaptive approach (PAA) Phases II, III and IV for missile defences in Europe. Installation of the system in Romania is part of the PAA Phase II.

A second system is currently under construction in Deveselu Air Base in Romania, with completion scheduled for the end of the year.

The land-based version of the Aegis ballistic missile defence (BMD) system, Aegis Ashore is designed to defeat short to intermediate-range ballistic missiles.

Powered by the latest Aegis configuration, Baseline 9, including the ballistic missile defence programming, BMD 5.0 CU, the system aims to enhance the present and future Aegis BMD capabilities to adapt to the evolving ballistic missile security environment.