U.S. Navy, Japan, MDA complete first SM-3 Block IIA missile intercept test

WASHINGTON. In a collaborative effort with the Japan Ministry of Defense, the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA), and the U.S. Navy completed a flight test on February 3, resulting in the first intercept of a ballistic missile target using the Standard Missile-3 (SM-3). The test demonstrated the integrated capabilities of the Aegis Weapon System and how it has continually evolved to counter advanced threats.

The Standard -3 Block IIA Cooperative Development Flight Test Maritime – 1 (SFTM-1) was conducted on board the (DDG-53). The ship detected and tracked the target missile with its onboard AN/SPY-1D(V) using the Aegis Baseline 9.C2 weapon system. Upon acquiring and tracking the target, the ship launched an Block IIA guided missile which intercepted the target. SFTM-1 is a development test that supports BMD 5.1 certification expected in 2018.

The SM-3 Block IIA is being developed cooperatively by the United States and Japan to defeat medium- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles, Navy officials say. The SM-3 Block IIA interceptor operates as part of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense system and can be launched from Aegis-equipped ships or Aegis Ashore sites.

Based on preliminary data the test met its primary objective. Program officials will continue to evaluate system performance based upon telemetry and other data obtained during the test.

The flight test, designated SM-3 Block IIA Cooperative Development (SCD) Project Flight Test, Standard Missile (SFTM)-01, was the third flight test of the SM-3 Block IIA guided missile, and the first intercept test. This test also marks the first time an SM-3IIA was launched from an Aegis ship and the first intercept engagement using the Aegis Baseline 9.C2 (BMD 5.1) weapon system.

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