by Richard Tomkins
Washington (UPI) Oct 21, 2014
The U.S. military has demonstrated that Lockheed Martin's Aegis weapon system can destroy a ballistic missile solely on tracks from remote airborne sensors.
Results of the demonstration by the Ballistic Missile Defense Agency and the Navy will be used to enhance the Ballistic Missile Defense System and support the advancement of Phase 2 of the Phased Adaptive Approach for missile defense in Europe, where a land-based variant of Aegis is to be deployed.
In the technology test, a medium-range ballistic missile target was launched on Oct. 16 from a range facility in Hawaii. The USS John Paul Jones, positioned west of Hawaii, detected and tracked the missile with its onboard AN/SPY-1 radar using the Aegis Baseline 9.C1 (BMD 5.0 Capability Upgrade) Weapon System.
Several fire control, discrimination, and engagement functions were also exercised, as well as an unmanned aerial vehicle equipped with a multi-spectral targeting system.
No Standard Missile-3, however, was actually launched against the target.
"Program officials will evaluate system performance based upon telemetry and other data obtained during the test," MDA said.
The United States earlier this month inaugurated an Aegis Ashore base in Romania, from where missiles will protect deployed U.S. troops and NATO members from ballistic missiles. The system is expected to begin operations in Romania next year.
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