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MISSILE DEFENSE
2nd Gen Aegis Hits Most Sophisticated Target Yet
by Staff Writers
Kauai HI (SPX) Sep 20, 2013


The USS Lake Erie (CG 70) launches a Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block 1B missile during a Missile Defense Agency and U.S. Navy test Sept. 18, 2013. Photo courtesy MDA. For a larger version of this image please go here.

The Lockheed Martin Missile Defense Agency and U.S. Navy successfully demonstrated, on the first attempt, the second generation Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Weapon System's capability to engage a sophisticated, separating short range ballistic missile target with two Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IB guided missiles that were fired and guided to intercept nearly simultaneously.

The test, known as Flight Test - Standard Missile-21 (FTM-21), was an operational test for Aegis BMD and SM-3 Block IB guided missile to engage and defeat a ballistic missile threat.

FTM-21 marked the tenth time the USS Lake Erie (CG 70) and crew have successfully performed in Navy and Missile Defense Agency at-sea test events against cruise and ballistic missile targets using the second generation of the Aegis BMD configuration.

"This latest test is the first time we have seen USS Lake Erie, sailors, and Aegis BMD Weapon System schedule, analyze, launch and control multiple missiles in flight through intercept at the same time," said Nick Bucci, Director of BMD Development Programs at Lockheed Martin's Mission Systems and Training business.

"The Aegis BMD 4.0.2 configuration provides the Navy with the ability to respond to ever increasing and evolving ballistic missile threats around the world with persistent and reliable capabilities."

The central component of the Lockheed Martin-developed Aegis BMD Combat System is the SPY-1 radar, the most widely fielded naval phased array radar in the world. The Aegis system and SPY-1 radar provide the U.S. and allied nations with advanced surveillance, anti-air warfare and missile defense capabilities.

The Missile Defense Agency and Navy are jointly developing Aegis BMD as part of the U.S. Ballistic Missile Defense System. Currently, 27 Aegis BMD-equipped warships have the certified capability to engage ballistic missiles and perform long-range surveillance and tracking missions, as well as an additional four ships in the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force.

The U.S. Navy plans to procure seven new Aegis BMD-equipped destroyers, and has also planned to develop two Aegis Ashore systems to perform ballistic missile defense.

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