Monday, April 18, 2011

Aegis Completes Successful Intercept Test

Lockheed Martin’s Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) system successfully tracked and engaged an intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) target using data from a remote AN/TPY-2 radar during an April 15 test off Hawaii, the company confirms.

This marked the Aegis BMD system’s first engagement against an IRBM as well as the first time the system used a launch-on-remote capability, the company says, which allows the Aegis BMD system to employ remote sensors to detect threats as early in the flight as possible.

The Aegis BMD system fired a Standard Missile-3 using real-time information from a remote sensor prior to the shipboard SPY-1 radar acquiring the inbound ballistic target, the company says.

The BMD mission has become increasingly important to the U.S. Navy, which recently truncated a planned DDG-1000 Zumwalt destroyer-class ship fleet procurement to buy more DDG-51 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers with enhanced BMD equipment and processing. Lockheed Martin has developed Aegis upgrades that make it easier to complete BMD missions while also defending the ship and area against other threats.

“With this test, Aegis BMD proves that it can expand the battlespace and destroy ballistic missile threats earlier in their trajectory than ever before,” says Lisa Callahan, vice president of maritime ballistic missile defense programs.

The USS O’Kane, DDG-77, used the first-generation Aegis BMD configuration to complete the exercise conducted by the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA), Navy and Lockheed Martin. This configuration, which added the capability for ships to defend themselves from short-range ballistic missiles in the terminal phase of flight, was certified for operations by the Navy in March 2008, the company says.

The test demonstrated the capability of the first phase of the European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA) plan announced by President Barack Obama in September 2009, MDA notes in a statement.

An IRBM target was launched from the Reagan Test Site, located on Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands, 2,300 mi. southwest of Hawaii. The target flew northeasterly over the Pacific Ocean. Following target launch, a forward-based AN/TPY-2 X-band transportable radar on Wake Island detected and tracked the threat missile.

The radar sent trajectory information to the Command, Control, Battle Management and Communications (C2BMC) system, which processed and transmitted remote target data to the USS O’Kane. As the IRBM target continued along its trajectory, the firing ship’s AN/SPY-1 radar detected and acquired the ballistic missile target.

The firing ship’s Aegis BMD weapon system uplinked target track information to the SM-3 Block IA interceptor missile.

The SM-3 maneuvered to a point in space as designated by the fire control solution and released its kinetic warhead, which acquired the target, diverted into its path and destroyed the threat in a kinetic “hit-to-kill” intercept.

No comments:

Post a Comment

no offensive and abusive language please