NATO exercise tests air, missile defense under Aegis Combat System

HEBRIDES, Scotland. The U.S. Navy and Missile Defense Agency -- in concert with Lockheed Martin and naval forces from eight NATO nations -- have successfully concluded a series of Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) tests in the Atlantic Ocean during an exercise it called Formidable Shield 2017 (FS-17).

The Formidable Shield exercise -- held in the North Atlantic off the coast of Scotland September 24 through October 17, 2017 -- was designed to demonstrate and improve upon allied interoperability in an integrated air and environment, using command-and-control reporting structures and architecture.

In one of the events, a U.S. Navy ship operating with the 4.0.3 Aegis Combat System conducted a simulated engagement of a live short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) target using remote track data provided by a Spanish F-100 class ship. In the same event, another U.S. Navy ship, operating with the Baseline 9.C1 integrated air and missile defense capability, launched SM-2 missiles against cruise missile targets while simultaneously tracking the SRBM.

Jim Sheridan, vice president of 's Naval Combat & Missile Defense Systems, said in part of the Formidable Shield exercise: "Working with our allied nations and the U.S. Navy depicts the interoperability of the Aegis Combat System with other disparate systems in an integrated air and missile defense environment."

Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) as it was underway participating in exercise Formidable Shield 2017. Photo credit: U.S. Navy Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Raymond Maddocks.

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