US Navy and MDA complete BMD system intercept flight test

14 May 2012 (Last Updated May 14th, 2012 03:45)

The US Navy and the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) have jointly conducted an Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) 4.0.1 system flight test aboard the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG 70).

Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) 4.0.1 system The US Navy and the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) have jointly conducted an Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) 4.0.1 system flight test aboard the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG 70).

During the test, designated Flight Test Standard Missile-16 (FTM-16) Event 2a, a target was launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Kauai, Hawaii to intercept the Raytheon-built Standard missile 3 (SM-3) Block 1B over the Pacific Ocean.

The AN/SPY-1 radar on board Lake Erie successfully detected and tracked the missile while the second-generation Aegis BMD 4.0.1 configuration weapon system, developed a fire control solution and launched the SM-3 Block IB interceptor.

The kinetic warhead, released by the SM-3 missile, acquired the target and diverted its path using only the force of a direct impact, engaged and destroyed the threat in a hit-to-kill intercept.

“The Aegis system is a surface-to-air integrated weapons platform and is also used by the navy as a tactical radar defence and fire-control system.”

Designed to defend against airborne threats, the Aegis system is a surface-to-air integrated weapons platform and is also used by the navy as a tactical radar defence and fire-control system.

Aegis-equipped ships are multi-mission surface combatants, to be equipped with SM-3 missiles, which can simultaneously attack land targets, submarines and surface ships while automatically implementing defences to protect the fleet against aircraft and missiles.

About 27 Aegis BMD-equipped ships are currently available for operational deployment, of which 23 belong to US Navy and four are Japanese destroyers.

The SM-3 Block IB interceptor features a two-colour infrared seeker, an upgraded onboard signal processor and a throttleable divert and attitude control system to manoeuvre the IB interceptor to intercept.


Image: A Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block 1B interceptor being launched from USS Lake Erie (CG 70). Photo: US Navy.