Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System Engages Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile for the First Time
Lockheed Martin's Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) system successfully tracked and engaged an intermediate range ballistic missile using data from a remote AN/TPY-2 radar during a test off the coast of Hawaii.
This marked the Aegis BMD system's first engagement against an intermediate range ballistic missile, as well as the first time the system used a launch-on-remote capability, which allows the Aegis BMD system to employ remote sensors to detect threats as early in flight as possible.
The Aegis BMD system fired a Standard Missile using real-time information from a remote sensor prior to the shipboard SPY-1 radar acquiring the inbound ballistic missile.
"The Lockheed Martin-led team has evolved Aegis from an anti-ship missile system to the basis for the U.S. approach to global missile defense," said Lisa Callahan, vice president of maritime ballistic missile defense programs. "With this test, Aegis BMD proves that it can expand the battlespace and destroy ballistic missile threats earlier in their trajectory than ever before."
The USS O'KANE (DDG-77) employed the first generation Aegis BMD configuration to complete this exercise conducted by the Missile Defense Agency, the U.S. Navy and Lockheed Martin. This configuration, which added the capability for ships to defend themselves from short range ballistic missiles in the terminal phase of flight, was certified for operations by the Navy in March 2008.
There are 25 Aegis BMD-equipped ships currently deployed - 21 U.S. Navy ships and four Japanese destroyers. Three additional ships are planned to become BMD-capable this year.