Aegis Show and Tell
USS Monterey gives NATO leaders a first-hand look at key component of the European Phased Adaptive Approach for missile defense
The U.S. government unveiled a new European Phased Adaptive Approach for missile defense 18 months ago. Late last month, 300 NATO representatives received a first-hand look at Phase One.
During a port visit to Antwerp, Belgium, the Aegis-equipped Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser USS Monterey hosted the NATO dignitaries to show them the ship’s Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) capabilities central to the Phased Adaptive Approach.
Lockheed Martin’s proven Aegis BMD System integrates the SPY-1 radar, the MK 41 Vertical Launching System, the SM-3 missile, and the weapon system’s command and control system to intercept and destroy short- and medium-range ballistic missiles.
“This ship is a part of the first phase of (the U.S. government’s) commitment, to deploy missile defense capability in Europe to help defend our forces in Europe, and our European allies against the threat that already exists today,” said U.S. Ambassador to NATO Ibo H. Daalder in an April 1 Navy news release.
Beginning this year, the four-part program’s first phase calls for deploying proven missile defense systems such as Aegis-equipped ships in the Mediterranean Sea to address regional ballistic missile threats to Europe. Phase Two will use the same sea-based Aegis BMD capabilities in a ground-based Aegis Ashore configuration by 2015. Phases Three and Four will employ SM-3 variants currently in development to counter future threats by the end of the decade.
This phased approach will augment the United States’ and Europe’s current defense against short and medium-range ballistic missile threats.
Based on Lockheed Martin’s Aegis Weapon System, Aegis BMD also enables ships to provide surveillance and tracking of intercontinental ballistic missiles and work with other BMD system elements to provide advance warning of threats.
The Aegis Weapon System is currently deployed on 95 ships around the globe, including 25 with Aegis BMD capability – 21 U.S. Navy Aegis-equipped ships and four Japanese Aegis-equipped destroyers.