Lockheed Martin, the US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and US Navy destroyer USS John Finn successfully conducted a remote engagement (lethal intercept) of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) target. The Flight Test Maritime 44 test marks the first demonstration of an Aegis Baseline engagement of an ICBM-representative target.
At approximately 7:50pm Hawaii Standard Time on 16 November, the ICBM-representative target was launched from the Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site, located on Kwajalein Atoll in the Republic of the Marshall Islands, toward the broad ocean area northeast of Hawaii.
In this developmental test, the destroyer used engage-on-remote capabilities through the Command and Control Battle Management Communications (C2BMC) network as part of a defence of Hawaii scenario. After receiving tracking data from the C2BMC system, the destroyer launched a SM-3 Block IIA guided missile, which destroyed the target.
The US Missile Defence Agency (MDA), and US Navy sailors aboard the USS John Finn (DDG-113), an Aegis Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) System-equipped destroyer, intercepted and destroyed a threat-representative ICBM target with a Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IIA missile during a flight test demonstration in the broad ocean area north-east of Hawaii on 16 November.
MDA director Vice Admiral Jon Hill explained, “This was an incredible accomplishment and critical milestone for the Aegis BMD SM-3 Block IIA program. The Department is investigating the possibility of augmenting the Ground-based Midcourse Defence system by fielding additional sensors and weapon systems to hedge against unexpected developments in the missile threat.