MDA Conducts SM-6 Medium-Range Ballistic Missile Intercept Test
WASHINGTON — The Missile Defense Agency and Sailors aboard USS John Paul Jones, an Aegis baseline 9.C1 equipped destroyer, successfully fired a salvo of two Standard Missile-6 (SM-6) Dual I missiles against a complex, medium-range ballistic missile target on Dec. 14, demonstrating the sea-based terminal endo-atmospheric defensive capability and meeting the test’s primary objective, the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) said on a Dec. 15 release.
This test, designated Flight Test Standard Missile-27 (FTM-27), was conducted off the coast of Hawaii. The target was fired from the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai.
“This test demonstrated the capabilities MDA and the Navy are delivering to our fleet commanders,” said MDA Director Vice Adm. James Syring. “The SM-6 missile and the Aegis Weapon System continue to prove that they are critical components of our nation’s multilayered, robust ballistic-missile defense system.”
The SM-6 missile uses an explosive warhead to defeat ballistic missile threats, differing from other missile defense interceptors, such as the Standard Missile-3, which use non-explosive hit-to-kill technology.
Program officials will continue evaluating system performance based upon telemetry and other data obtained during the test.
“The recent ballistic missile defense test off the coast of Hawaii demonstrates, yet again, that Aegis can successfully execute complicated missions against a complex, medium-range ballistic missile target,” said Paul Klammer, director, Aegis BMD, for Lockheed Martin. “Aegis Baseline 9 is the key to Aegis modernization, merging area anti-air warfare with ballistic missile defense into truly integrated air and missile defense for the warfighter. Our latest Aegis Baseline 9 enhancements enable Aegis to continue to evolve to counter advanced threats. And with each test, Aegis proves that it is the most advanced combat system for a proven layered defense.”
“Lockheed Martin’s Targets and Countermeasures team in Huntsville and Courtland, Ala., designed, built and launched the medium-range ballistic missile target in support of FTM-27,” said Doug Graham, vice president of Missile Systems and Advanced Programs, Lockheed Martin. “We are proud to deliver this highly complex target, the third in its class, to support realistic testing of the ballistic missile defense system as it evolves to address emerging threats.”