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Destroyer Shoots Down Missile in Successful Joint Ballistic Missile Defense Test

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An Aegis interceptor is launched from the USS Lake Erie (CG-70) during a Missile Defense Agency and Navy test in the mid-Pacific. US Navy Photo

An Aegis interceptor is launched from the USS Lake Erie (CG-70) during a Missile Defense Agency and Navy test in the mid-Pacific. US Navy Photo

A Navy guided missile destroyer (DDG) successfully shot down a ballistic missile target in a joint exercise with the U.S. Army simulated a two-missile ballistic missile raid, according to a Tuesday statement from the Missile Defense Agency (MDA).

The test combined the Navy’s Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense system with the Army’s ground-based Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) weapon system to, “defeat a raid of two near-simultaneous ballistic missile targets,” near the U.S. Army Kwajalein Atoll/Reagan Test Site in the South Pacific, according to the MDA.

USS Decatur (DDG-73) fired a Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IA while the Army’s Alpha Battery, 2nd Air Defense Artillery Regiment fired a THAAD interceptor coordinated by satellites and the Raytheon Army-Navy/Transportable Radar Surveillance and Control (AN/TPY-2).

“Initial indications are that all components performed as designed. MDA officials will extensively assess and evaluate system performance based upon telemetry and other data obtained during the test,” according to the statement.

The test is the third straight successful Aegis test according to the MDA.

According to agency, the “U.S. Ballistic Missile Defense System programs have completed 62 successful hit-to-kill intercepts in 78 flight test attempts since 2001.”

Categories: News & Analysis, Surface Forces, U.S. Army, U.S. Navy
Sam LaGrone

About Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone is the USNI Online Editor at the U.S. Naval Institute.
He was formerly the U.S. Maritime Correspondent for the Washington D.C. bureau of Jane’s Defence Weekly and Jane’s Navy International. In his role he covered legislation, acquisition and operations for the Sea Services and spent time underway with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the Canadian Navy.
Sam is a 2003 graduate of Virginia Military Institute.