Sea-Based Missile Shield Scores Another Success

Released on Thursday, February 24, 2005
United States of America
Aegis BMD
CG 47 (VLS)
DDG 51 Flight I
Mk 41 Strike Length
Standard SM-3 Block IA
BMD - Ballistic Missile Defense
MDA - Missile Defense Agency
USS - United States Ship
The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and the US Navy have announced that the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) and its Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) successfully intercepted a ballistic missile target outside earth's atmosphere during Flight Test Mission 04-1 on February 24, 2005. The test was conducted over the Pacific Ocean and the ballistic missile target was in the descent phase of its flight when it was intercepted and destroyed.

During the test, Lockheed-Martin's Aegis weapon system aboard cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG 70) and range sensors confirmed a direct hit of the target ballistic missile over the Pacific Ocean. The destroyer USS Russell (DDG 59) also participated in the test using a new Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense Signal Processor (Aegis BSP). USS Russell conducted real-time detection, tracking and discrimination of the target, as well as analysis of target interception. This was the first time Aegis BSP was used in an at sea flight test mission.

In addition, this test represented the fifth time the Aegis weapon system successfully guided Raytheon's SM-3 Block I missile to a ballistic missile target. Other key elements of Aegis BMD are the SPY-1 radar and the Mk-41 vertical launching system. This test also demonstrated the Aegis BMD Emergency Deployment capability, which will allow the US Navy to defend the United States from ballistic missile attacks before the system gets green light for operational deployment. Japan already has decided to become the first export customer for Aegis BMD implementing the system along with SM-3 on its Kongo-class destroyers.


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