Lockheed Martin-U.S. Navy Aegis Weapon System Guides Standard Missile to Target Intercept During Ascent Phase
KAUAI, HI, November 21st, 2002 -- For the first time during the ascent-phase of flight, Lockheed Martin's Aegis Weapon System successfully intercepted a ballistic missile target in the exo-atmosphere. The Aegis Weapon System, aboard the guided missile cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG 70), and range sensors confirmed a direct hit of the missile target over the Pacific Ocean. Today's test marks the third time this year that the Aegis Weapon System successfully guided a Standard Missile-3 to a ballistic missile target. The previous tests, in January and June, intercepted during the descent phase.
"This test was another critical step in the United States' ongoing sea-based ballistic missile defense efforts," said Fred Moosally, president of Lockheed Martin's Naval Electronics & Surveillance Systems (NE&SS). "Destroying a threat missile in its ascent phase is an important milestone, and once again the proven surveillance, tracking and fire control capability of the Aegis Weapon System has met the challenge."
Today's test, Flight Mission (FM)-4, part of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense Program, is a stepping-stone toward the Navy's goal of a ballistic missile defense capability for Aegis-equipped ships. This sea-based defense system is an element of the Ballistic Missile Defense System and is intended to provide regional protection against medium- to long-range ballistic missiles for joint forces, seaports, inland airfields, vital political and military assets and population centers.
The Aegis Weapon System, developed by Lockheed Martin for the U.S. Navy, includes the SPY-1 radar, the Navy's most advanced computer-controlled radar system. When paired with the Lockheed Martin-developed MK 41 Vertical Launch System, it is capable of delivering missiles for every mission and threat environment in naval warfare.
The SPY-1 multi-function phased array radar, available worldwide to meet the mission needs for a range of ships from corvettes to aircraft carriers, provides U.S. and allied nations with the world's most advanced naval surveillance, anti-air warfare and missile defense capabilities.
Aegis is currently deployed on 64 U.S. Navy cruisers and destroyers on station around the globe, and at least 26 more ships are currently planned. Aegis is the primary naval weapon system for Japan, it is part of two European ship construction programs - the Spanish F-100 and the Norwegian New Frigate Â¿ and the Republic of Korea recently selected Aegis for its newest class of destroyers.
The test was sponsored by the Missile Defense Agency. FM-4 was the sixth in a series of planned flight tests that progressively show the Aegis Combat System's ability to successfully engage and intercept a ballistic missile.
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