Test Confirms Missile Defense Capability
The Missile Defense Agency (MDA), U.S. Pacific Command, and personnel aboard the USS Lake Erie successfully conducted an operational flight test of the latest version of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) System. The test demonstrated the intercept of a medium-range ballistic missile target over the Pacific Ocean by the Aegis BMD 4.0 Weapon System and a Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IB guided missile. At approximately 7:33 p.m. Hawaii Standard Time, a medium-range ballistic missile target was launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai, Hawaii, and flew northwest toward a broad ocean area. Following target launch, the USS Lake Erie detected and tracked the missile with its onboard AN/SPY-1 radar. The ship, equipped with the second-generation Aegis BMD weapon system, developed a fire control solution and launched the SM-3 Block IB guided missile to engage the target. The SM-3 released its kinetic warhead, which acquired the target reentry vehicle, diverted into its path and, using only the force of a direct impact, destroyed the target.