December 06, 2007

Missle Shot Down In Space

BIL had another missle test, sent me the article about it.

The US Navy (USN) guided missile cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG 70) successfully engaged two ballistic missile targets outside the earth's atmosphere on 6 November.

This was the first time a USN warship had demonstrated simultaneous
engagements against ballistic missile targets. These were the 10th and
11th successful intercepts by the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD)
system using Raytheon Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) rounds, and the 32nd
33rd successful United States 'hit-to-kill' intercepts since 2001.

Flight Test Standard Missile-13 (FTM-13) involved two unitary targets,
whose warheads did not separate from their booster rockets. They
represented targets in the class of the Russian 'Scud' ballistic

At 1812 h local time, the first target was launched from the Pacific
Missile Range Facility (PMRF), Barking Sands, Kauai, Hawaii. The second
was launched moments later.

Lake Erie is equipped with Aegis BMD 3.6, which is the latest
USN-certified version of the weapon system. The system detected and
tracked the targets, and developed fire-control solutions.

Two SM-3 Block IA missiles were launched and two minutes later they
successfully intercepted the targets outside the earth's atmosphere
than 160 km above the Pacific Ocean and 400 km northwest of Kauai. Both
intercepts used 'hit-to-kill' technology; the targets were destroyed
when they collided with the kill-vehicles released by the SM-3 rounds.

"With two targets engaged simultaneously, both the system and crew are
under additional stress, and today they performed flawlessly," said
Orlando Carvalho, vice-president and general manager of Lockheed
Martin's Surface-Sea Based Missile Defense operation.

"With Aegis, we build a little, test a little and learn a lot. Today's
test is the 12th planned flight mission to methodically and
incrementally fully verify the Aegis BMD capability."

Japanese guided missile destroyer JS Kongou (DDG 173) also participated
in the testing. Stationed off Kauai, the ship used the Aegis BMD 3.6
system to detect and track both missile targets, and conducted a
simulated engagement of both threats.

During a follow-on trial conducted on 15 November, Kongou detected and
tracked a target missile fired from the PMRF. Shortly after target
lift-off, the crew acquired and tracked the simulated threat, developed
a fire-control solution and simulated the launch of an SM-3 Block IA
missile. The shipboard systems performed according to specification and
conducted a simulated interception. The target fell harmlessly into the
Pacific Ocean.

Kongou is due to conduct its first flight test intercept in
mid-December, marking the first BMD intercept attempt by a non-US Aegis
BMD system user.

Nine USN Aegis-equipped warships currently have the ability to conduct
long-range search, track and engagement of ballistic missiles. Another
seven Aegis warships are equipped with Aegis BMD long-range
and track capability. Ultimately, 15 USN Aegis destroyers and three
Aegis cruisers will be equipped to engage short- to intermediate-range
ballistic missile threats and support other BMD system engagements.

Japan has purchased BMD systems for its four Kongou-class Aegis destroyers. The other three vessels in the class are due to complete their Aegis BMD
upgrades at one-year intervals. As well as providing air defence of the
fleet, these ships contribute to the air defences of mainland Japan

As the third and fourth successful US anti-ballistic missile
interceptions in 40 days, the FTM-13 engagements were preceded by a
Ground-Based Interceptor test on 28 September and a Terminal High
Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) intercept on 27 October.

Got some pictures too this time.

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Posted by Quality Weenie at December 6, 2007 06:51 PM | TrackBack

A job where you make things go boom! Too cool.

Posted by: Mrs. Who at December 6, 2007 10:42 PM