USA — Second-Generation Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System Completes Second Successful Intercept Flight Test

PACIFIC MISSILE RANGE FACILITY, Hawaii (NNS) — The Mis­sile Defense Agency (MDA) and Sailors of USS Lake Erie (CG 70) suc­cess­ful­ly con­duct­ed a flight test of the Aegis Bal­lis­tic Mis­sile Defense (BMD) sys­tem June 26.

120627-N-ZZ999-003 PACIFIC OCEAN (June 27, 2012) A Stan­dard Missile‑3 (SM‑3) Block 1B inter­cep­tor is launched from the guid­ed-mis­sile cruis­er USS Lake Erie (CG 70) for the sec­ond time dur­ing a Mis­sile Defense Agency test in the Pacif­ic Ocean. The SM‑3 Block 1B suc­cess­ful­ly inter­cept­ed a short-range bal­lis­tic mis­sile tar­get that had been launched from the Pacif­ic Mis­sile Range Facil­i­ty, locat­ed on Kauai, Hawaii. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)
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The test result­ed in the inter­cept of a sep­a­rat­ing bal­lis­tic mis­sile tar­get over the Pacif­ic Ocean by the Navy’s newest mis­sile defense inter­cep­tor mis­sile, the Stan­dard Missile‑3 (SM‑3) Block 1B.

At 11:15 pm Hawaii Stan­dard Time (5:15 am EDT June 27), the tar­get mis­sile was launched from the Pacif­ic Mis­sile Range Facil­i­ty, locat­ed on Kauai, Hawaii. The tar­get flew on a north­west­er­ly tra­jec­to­ry towards a broad ocean area of the Pacif­ic Ocean. Fol­low­ing tar­get launch, USS Lake Erie detect­ed and tracked the mis­sile with its onboard AN/SPY‑1 radar. The ship, equipped with the sec­ond-gen­er­a­tion Aegis BMD 4.0.1 weapon sys­tem, devel­oped a fire con­trol solu­tion and launched the SM‑3 Block IB mis­sile.

Lake Erie con­tin­ued to track the tar­get and sent tra­jec­to­ry infor­ma­tion to the SM‑3 Block IB mis­sile in-flight. The SM‑3 maneu­vered to a point in space, as des­ig­nat­ed by the fire con­trol solu­tion, and released its kinet­ic war­head. The kinet­ic war­head acquired the tar­get, divert­ed into its path, and, using only the force of a direct impact, engaged and destroyed the threat in a hit-to-kill inter­cept.

Today’s test event was the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive suc­cess­ful inter­cept test of the SM‑3 Block IB mis­sile and the sec­ond-gen­er­a­tion Aegis BMD 4.0.1 weapon sys­tem. The first suc­cess­ful SM‑3 Block IB inter­cept occurred May 9, 2012. Today’s inter­cept is a crit­i­cal accom­plish­ment for the sec­ond phase of the President’s Euro­pean Phased Adap­tive Approach con­sist­ing of the SM‑3 Block 1B inter­cep­tor employed in an Aegis Ashore sys­tem in Roma­nia in 2015.

Ini­tial indi­ca­tions are that all com­po­nents per­formed as designed result­ing in a very accu­rate inter­cept.

This was the 23rd suc­cess­ful inter­cept in 28 flight test fir­ings for the Aegis BMD pro­gram. Across all Bal­lis­tic Mis­sile Defense Sys­tem pro­grams, it is the 54th suc­cess­ful hit-to-kill inter­cept in 68 flight tests since 2001.

Aegis BMD is the sea-based mid­course com­po­nent of the MDA’s Bal­lis­tic Mis­sile Defense Sys­tem and is designed to inter­cept and destroy short to inter­me­di­ate-range bal­lis­tic mis­sile threats. The MDA and the U.S. Navy coop­er­a­tive­ly man­age the Aegis BMD Pro­gram.

Press release
U.S. Navy