Aegis Ashore ground-based ballistic missile defense (BMD) system scored its first successful intercept from its Hawaiian test location, the Missile Defense Agency announced on Thursday.
The late Wednesday test proves, according to the MDA, the efficacy of using a ground based BMD system built with the same radars and missiles used on the U.S. Navy’s guided missile cruisers and destroyers.
“The primary purpose of the test, designated Flight Test Operational-02 Event 1a, was to assess the operational effectiveness of the Aegis Ashore capability as part of a larger BMDS architecture,” read the statement.
Using a Raytheon Standard Missile-3 Block IB fired from the Aegis Ashore Missile Defense Test Complex at the Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF), Kauai, Hawaii, the system was able to destroy a target launched from an U.S. Air Force C-17. The target was initially detected by a Raytheon AN/TPY-2 X band radar and the tracking data was relayed to the Aegis Ashore station.
“Today’s test demonstrated that the same Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense capability that has been fielded at sea and operational for years, will soon be operational ashore as part of the European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA) Phase 2 capability in Romania,” MDA director Vice Adm. James Syring said in a statement.
The Aegis Ashore site in Romania is scheduled to lightoff on Dec. 31, Program Executive Officer for Integrated Warfare Systems Rear Adm. Jon Hill told USNI News last month. The second installation in Poland is scheduled to come online in 2018.
The two sites will share the BMD role with four BMD capable Arleigh Burke guided missile destroyers forward deployed to Rota, Spain.
The following is the complete Dec. 10, 2015 statement from the U.S. Missile Defense Agency.
Standard Missile Completes First Intercept Test from Aegis Ashore Test Site
The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) Operational Test Agency, in conjunction with U.S. Pacific Command, U.S. European Command, and Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense, successfully conducted the first intercept flight test today (December 9, Hawaii Standard Time) of a land-based Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) weapon system and Standard Missile (SM)-3 Block IB Threat Upgrade guided missile, launched from the Aegis Ashore Missile Defense Test Complex at the Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF), Kauai, Hawaii.
During the test, a target representing a medium-range ballistic missile was air-launched from a U.S. Air Force C-17 aircraft over the broad ocean area southwest of Hawaii. An AN/TPY-2 radar in Forward Based Mode, located at PMRF, detected the target and relayed target track information to the Command, Control, Battle Management, and Communication (C2BMC) system. The Aegis Weapon System at the Aegis Ashore site received track data from C2BMC and used its component AN/SPY-1 radar to acquire, track, and develop a fire control solution to engage the target. The Aegis Weapon System then launched the SM-3 Block IB Threat Upgrade guided missile from its Vertical Launch System. The SM-3’s kinetic warhead acquired the target reentry vehicle, diverted into its path, and destroyed the target using the kinetic force of a direct impact.
The primary purpose of the test, designated Flight Test Operational-02 Event 1a, was to assess the operational effectiveness of the Aegis Ashore capability as part of a larger BMDS architecture. Aegis Ashore uses a nearly identical configuration of the Vertical Launch System, fire control system, and SPY-1 radar currently in use aboard Aegis BMD cruisers and destroyers deployed at sea around the world.
Vice Admiral James D. Syring, MDA Director, said, “Today’s test demonstrated that the same Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense capability that has been fielded at sea and operational for years, will soon be operational ashore as part of the European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA) Phase 2 capability in Romania. I am very proud of the tremendous effort by the entire government/industry team in executing this vitally important mission for our Nation and our allies.”
This flight test demonstrates Aegis Ashore capability as an important component of Phase 2 of the EPAA, of which MDA plans to announce a technical capability declaration by the end of this month.
The MDA and the U.S. Navy cooperatively manage the Aegis BMD program. Additional information about all elements of the BMDS can be found at www.mda.mil.