Aegis BMD system achieves successful intercept flight test

The Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense system recently completed a successful intercept flight test over the Pacific Ocean, the U.S. Department of Defense announced on Friday.

U.S. Pacific Command, the Missile Defense Agency and sailors with the U.S. Navy aboard the U.S.S. Lake Erie conducted the successful flight test, which resulted in the intercept of a medium-range ballistic missile target. After launching the missile from the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai, Hawaii, the U.S.S. Lake Erie detected and tracked the missile with its onboard AN/SPY-1 radar. The ship launched a Standard Missile-3 Block IB guided missile which delivered its kinetic warhead, engaging and destroying the target with a direct impact.

The test demonstrated the latest version of the second-generation Aegis BMD Weapon System, which is able to engage longer range and more sophisticated missiles. Officials with the program will evaluate and assess the performance of the system based on telemetry and other data obtained during the flight test.

The test was the fifth consecutive successful intercept test of the SM-3 Block IB guided missile with the Aegis BMD 4.0 Weapon System. The findings of the test will impact production decisions for the SM-3 Block IB guided missile going forward.

The test was the 28th successful intercept in 34 flight test attempts for the Aegis BMD program since flight testing started in 2002.

Aegis BMD is the naval component of the MDA's Ballistic Missile Defense System. The U.S. Navy and the MDA cooperatively manage the program.

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