Japan's Aegis BMD completes flight test with upgraded configuration

PACIFIC MISSILE RANGE FACILITY, Hawaii. Officials at the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) announced the completion of an Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) intercept flight test, in cooperation with the U.S. Navy, off the coast of Kauai in Hawaii.

The Japan Flight Test Mission-05 (JFTM-05) event was conducted to demonstrate a successful engagement of a target missile from the JS ATAGO using the sea-based midcourse engagement capability provided by Aegis BMD. It verified the newest BMD engagement capability of the Japan (J6) Aegis BMD configuration of the recently upgraded Japan destroyer, JS ATAGO (DDG-177).

During testing, the target was launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility at Barking Sands, Kauai, Hawaii. JS ATAGO crew members detected and tracked the target. The Aegis Weapon System then developed a fire control solution and a -built Standard Missile -3 Block IB Threat Upgrade (SM-3 Blk IB TU) missile was launched. The SM-3 successfully intercepted the target above the Pacific Ocean.

An SM-3® Block IB guided missile. (Photo: Agency)

“This successful test is a major milestone verifying the capabilities of an upgraded Aegis BMD configuration for Japan's destroyers," says MDA Director Lt. Gen. Sam Greaves. “This success provides confidence in the future capability for Japan to defeat the developing threats in the region. My congratulations to the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, our MDA team, and our industry partners. We are committed to assisting the Government of Japan in upgrading its national missile defense capability against emerging threats.”

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