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Sea-Based Midcourse Ballistic Missile Defense Test Successful

Sea-Based Midcourse Ballistic Missile Defense Test Successful

Special news release from the Department of Defense

Washington D.C. -- (NNS) January 28, 2002 -- The Missile Defense Agency and the Navy conducted a successful flight test in the continuing development of a Sea-Based Midcourse (SMD) Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) on Friday, January 25.

At sea aboard USS Lake Erie (CG 70) Jan. 25, 2002 -- A Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) leaves the ship's vertical launch system (VLS) during a combined Missile Defense Agency and U.S. Navy flight test, conducted in the continuing development of a Sea-Based Midcourse (SMD) Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS). Test involved the launch of a developmental Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) equipped with a kinetic warhead (KW) interceptor controlled from the Aegis Cruiser, and an Aries target missile launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) on the island of Kauai, Hawaii. The SM-3 acquired, tracked, and diverted toward the target, successfully demonstrating the SM-3 fourth-stage Kinetic Warhead (KW) guidance, navigation and control.

U.S. Navy Photo

Flight Mission-2 (FM-2) involved the launch of a developmental Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) and kinetic warhead (KW) interceptor from the Aegis cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG 70) and an Aries target missile launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) on the island of Kauai, Hawaii. The target was launched at 9 p.m., EST, Jan. 26.

About eight minutes later, Lake Erie, equipped with Aegis Lightweight Exo-tmospheric Projectile (LEAP) computer programs and equipment, and having tracked the target with the Aegis SPY-1 radar and developed a fire-control solution, launched the newly-developed SM-3.

The SM-3 acquired, tracked and diverted toward the target, demonstrating SM-3 fourth-stage Kinetic Warhead (KW) guidance, navigation and control. Although not a primary objective, during this early developmental test, the KW was aimed at the target, resulting in a hit-to-kill intercept at approximately 9:18 p.m., EST.

The primary objective of this test was to evaluate SM-3 fourth-stage Kinetic Warhead guidance, navigation and control. Extensive engineering evaluation data was collected for analyses in preparation for future flight tests. Program officials will evaluate the data and incorporate changes as required.

Friday's test was the fourth in a planned series of nine developmental test flights for the SMD program. An extensive ground test program had already conducted successful testing of elements of the SM-3 kinetic warhead. This mission also included the first fully operational SM-3 with a live Solid Divert and Attitude Control System to steer the KW into the target. Air defense variants of the Standard Missile are currently at sea on more than 50 Aegis cruisers and destroyers, with more than 25 additional ships in the production/planned pipeline.

The Missile Defense Agency and the Navy sponsor the SMD Program. Raytheon Missile Systems of Tucson, Ariz., is the prime contractor for the development of the SM-3 missile. Lockheed Martin Naval Electronic and Surveillance Systems of Moorestown, N.J., manages the development of the Aegis Weapon System installed on board Aegis cruisers and destroyers.

 

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Directeur de la publication : Joël-François Dumont
Comité de rédaction : Jacques de Lestapis, Hugues Dumont, François de Vries (Bruxelles), Hans-Ulrich Helfer (Suisse), Michael Hellerforth (Allemagne).
Comité militaire : VAE Guy Labouérie (†), GAA François Mermet (2S), CF Patrice Théry (Asie).

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