Aegis doubles engagement in latest MDA test

USS LAKE ERIE launches a SM-3 The USS Lake Erie (CG 70) launches a Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block 1B missile during a Missile Defense Agency and U.S. Navy test Sept. 18, 2013. Photo courtesy MDA.

Multiple target intercept marks new milestone

On the heels of a successful flight test in May, the Lockheed Martin, Missile Defense Agency and U.S. Navy Aegis BMD team had reason to celebrate once again as Flight Test Mission-21 (FTM-21) was today certified a success.  Marking the most sophisticated and complex test to date, Aegis BMD engaged multiple targets nearly simultaneously as Aegis BMD intercepted a complex, separating short-range ballistic missile by launching and guiding two Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IB missiles to take down the targets.

“This latest test is the first time we have seen USS Lake Erie, her sailors, and her Aegis BMD weapon system schedule, analyze, launch and control multiple missiles in flight through intercept at the same time,” said Nick Bucci, director of BMD development programs. “The Aegis BMD 4.0.2 configuration provides the Navy with the ability to respond to ever-increasing and evolving ballistic missile threats around the world with persistent and reliable capabilities.”

FTM-21 marked the tenth time the USS Lake Erie (CG 70) and her crew have successfully performed during Navy and Missile Defense Agency at-sea test events against cruise and ballistic missile threats. The at-sea test events are designed to present relevant and challenging scenarios for Aegis BMD to engage and control potential threats.

The U.S. Navy plans to procure seven new Aegis-equipped destroyers, and has also identified one additional Aegis Ashore system for modification to perform ballistic missile defense.

Posted on September 19, 2013