Aegis BMD on track to support Phased Adaptive Approach for missile defense

file In 2010, the first step of the Phased Adaptive Approach deployment process was completed when the Aegis BMD 3.6.1 system was installed and certified aboard the USS Monterey. The third and final deployment step is scheduled for April of this year, when the ability to engage longer range ballistic missile threats using remote sensor information to initiate the engagement will be tested in the Pacific. Photo courtesy U.S. Navy.

The USS Monterey is one step closer to becoming the first U.S. Navy ship deployed as part of the nation’s Phased Adaptive Approach for missile defense.

The guided missile cruiser Monterey successfully tracked a short-range ballistic missile target launched from NASA Wallops Island Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Va., in an exercise known as Atlantic Trident.

This test was the second of three events that the Monterey must complete before being officially deployed to Europe in the first phase of the Phased Adaptive Approach for missile defense.

This event verified that both the Aegis BMD system and crew aboard the ship are able to execute the missions necessary to support the nation’s Phased Adaptive Approach, said Lisa Callahan, vice president of maritime BMD systems. Aegis BMD is effective, affordable and interoperable with other systems and produces a layered air and missile defense capability to protect the U.S. homeland, our deployed forces and our allies, she continued.

This was also the first Aegis test to take place on the East coast.

A total of 25 ships – 21 U.S. Navy Aegis-equipped ships and four Japanese Aegis-equipped destroyers – are currently outfitted with the Aegis BMD capability. An additional three ships are planned to become BMD-capable this year.