Another Step Forward for Aegis BMD
Aegis achieves milestone for European Phased Adaptive Approach with successful intercept of ballistic missile target
At its May summit in Chicago, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen announced that the alliance now has interim ballistic missile defense capability to protect Europe and its citizens.
“It is the first step towards our long-term goal of providing full coverage and protection for all NATO European populations, territory and forces,” Rasmussen said. “Our system will link together missile defense assets from different allies – satellites, ships, radars and interceptors… it will allow us to defend against threats from outside the Euro-Atlantic area.”
Central to NATO’s plan is the United States’ Phased Adaptive Approach to European missile defense and its Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) system, which took another step forward on June 26 when it successfully completed another test.
Developed by Lockheed Martin, the second generation Aegis BMD, known as Aegis BMD 4.0.1, achieved an important milestone for the Phased Adaptive Approach when it successfully detected, tracked and engaged a medium range ballistic missile target, proving its air defense capabilities.
“This is the second of three Aegis BMD tests this year, all which will evaluate varying capabilities and functionalities of the system within increasingly more challenging scenarios,” said Nick Bucci, director of BMD development programs for Lockheed Martin. “The successful test demonstrates the continuing evolution of the Aegis BMD system and reaffirms its role as the cornerstone of national and international forward-deployed missile defense efforts.”
Conducted by the U.S. Navy, the Missile Defense Agency and Lockheed Martin, the exercise marked the seventh time the USS Lake Erie (CG 70) has successfully performed an at-sea test with the second-generation Aegis BMD configuration in the past 30 months.
The four-part Phased Adaptive Approach initially calls for deploying 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 missiles currently in development to counter future threats by the end of the decade.
Posted on June 27, 2012