USS John Paul Jones

The US Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53) has successfully conducted a series of five live-fire tests for the baseline 9C Aegis Combat System.

The tests were conducted during the combat system ship’s qualification trials (CSSQT) and naval-integrated fire control counter air (NIFC-CA) capability.

A total of five missiles, including four standard missile-6 (SM-6) versions and one standard missile-2 (SM-2) missile, were engaged off the coast of southern California, US.

Designated as NIFC-CA AS-02A, one of these exercises is said to have resulted in the longest surface-to-air engagement in naval history.

The first ballistic missile tracking exercise was also conducted by USS John Paul Jones during the underway period, tracking two supersonic and two subsonic missile targets simultaneously.

Fire Controlman 1st Class (SW) Matthew Miller said: "It is a great step forward for the surface navy and our integrated war-fighting capability."

In 2012, the ship started combat system upgrades as part of the destroyer modernisation programme, and the missile firings commenced during that period at the BAE repair facility in San Diego, US.

"It is a great step forward for the surface navy and our integrated war-fighting capability."

Upgrades installed on the guided-missile destroyer include the latest commercial off-the-shelf computing infrastructure, SPY-1D transmitter upgrades, as well as a multi-mission signal processor comprising the Aegis baseline 9C suite.

USS John Paul Jones commanding officer commander Andrew Thomson said: "From the concept development phase, through design, build, installation and test, many hard working Americans came together to field this capability. I consider myself lucky to be part of that amazing team."

The destroyer is expected to participate in the testing of newer systems in future, which will be used to defend the US and allied forces overseas.

Image: USS John Paul Jones launches a standard missile-6 (SM-6). Photo: courtesy of the US Navy photo / released.

Defence Technology