The US Navy’s third Arleigh Burke-class guided missile ship, USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53), has successfully conducted live-fire trials of the Aegis Weapons System (AWS).
During the testing, the vessel used its onboard AN/SPY-1D (MOD) radar to engage the AQM-37C target, which was launched from Naval Air Station Point Mugu, and validated the US Navy’s AWS ability to detect, track and fire upon a target simulating a high-speed cruise missile.
The latest-generation Aegis Baseline 9C weapon system on-board USS John Paul Jones developed a fire control solution and launched the Standard Missile-2 (SM-2), which successfully destroyed the target.
In addition to defending itself against the same type of target, the ship simultaneously engaged a simulated ballistic missile threat as part of a second test.
USS John Paul Jones commanding officer commander Andrew Thomson said: "Not only do I work with the most advanced surface combat system around, but I do so with some of the most dedicated and capable men and women in the business."
Based on data collected from the trials, programme officials will carry out extensive assessment and evaluation, while USS John Paul Jones will further undergo operations and training within 3rd Fleet’s area of responsibility.
USS John Paul Jones’s baseline nine upgrades include an overall AWS upgrade, with an enhanced SPY-1D radar for anti-air warfare and ballistic missile defence in support of integrated air and missile defense (IAMD).
John Paul Jones can operate independently and perform missions in support of a carrier strike group, expeditionary strike group or surface action group.
Capable of conducting sustained combat operations supporting forward presence, maritime security, sea control and deterrence, the vessels of the class can operate in a network-centric warfare environment, as well as perform multi-mission tasking to include air, surface, undersea, space and cyber warfare.
Image: USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53) conducting mission at sea. Photo: courtesy of US Air Force / Airman 1st Class Jonathan Steffen.