Shore-based SM-3 Block IIA Successfully Intercepts a Ballistic Missile
IndraStra Global

Shore-based SM-3 Block IIA Successfully Intercepts a Ballistic Missile



On December 10, 2018, the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and U.S. Navy Sailors manning the Aegis Ashore Missile Defense Test Complex (AAMDTC) at the Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) at Kauai, Hawaii, successfully conducted Flight Test Integrated-03 (FTI-03). This was an operational live fire test demonstrating the Aegis Weapon System Engage On Remote capability to track and intercept an Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM) target with an Aegis Ashore-launched Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IIA interceptor.

FTI-03 consisted of an IRBM target, air-launched by a U.S. Air Force C-17 from the broad ocean area thousands of miles southwest of the Aegis Ashore Test site that launched the SM-3 Block IIA Interceptor. The engagement leveraged a ground, air, and space-based sensor/command and control architecture linked by the Ballistic Missile Defense System's Command and Control, Battle Management, and Communications (C2BMC) suite.

The test builds on the successful USS John Finn (DDG 113) FTM-45 test in October that demonstrated the integrated capabilities of the Aegis Weapon System and how it has continually evolved to counter advanced threats. It demonstrated the new take down assessment functionality, bi-directional communications and sensor improvement algorithms. This capability is an innovative take down assessment that uses infrared and sensor data correlation to achieve the mission.


Also, this test builds upon joint research investments by the United States and Japan and comes on the heels of a successful test with the JS ATAGO (DDG 177) in September. Lockheed Martin is developing a Baseline 9.B2.0/BMD 5.1 variant computer program, for deployment on Japan's Aegis destroyers.

"Today's successful flight test demonstrated the effectiveness of the European Phased Adaptive Approach Phase 3 architecture. It also was of great significance to the future of multi-domain missile defense operations and supports a critical initial production acquisition milestone for the SM-3 Block IIA missile program," said MDA Director Lt. Gen. Sam Greaves. "This system is designed to defend the United States, its deployed forces, allies, and friends from a real and growing ballistic missile threat. I offer my congratulations to all members of the team, military, civilian, contractors and allies who helped make this possible."

"This test authenticates the strengthening global security of the U.S. and its allies as we deepen the defense capabilities with the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System," said Paul Klammer, Director, Lockheed Martin Aegis BMD. "This exercise showed that Aegis is the most advanced combat system and the proven choice for a layered defense."

Based on preliminary data, the FTI-03 met its objective, and program officials will continue to evaluate system performance based upon telemetry and other data obtained during the test.

With reporting by Mark Wright, Missile Defense Agency and Lockheed Martin Media Site