NAWCWD hosts MDA
NAWCWD hosts MDA, Japanese for Live-Fire Test of
SM-3 Block IIA Missile
By Kimberly Brown, NAWCWD Public Affairs.
Point Mugu, California – (NNS)
– December 9, 2015 – Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division at Naval Base Ventura County, Point
Mugu, California hosted a live-fire test of the Standard Missile-3 Block IIA
missile, a 21-inch diameter Standard Missile variant cooperatively developed by
the United States and Japan for use with the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense
program, on Dec. 8.
This is the second such test of the SM-3 Block IIA on the Point Mugu Sea
Range; the first took place June 6.
Official U.S. Navy file photo of a Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IIA
launches from the Point Mugu Sea Range, San Nicolas Island, Calif., June 6,
The Japan Ministry of Defense Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Agency
and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency, in cooperation with the U.S. Navy,
successfully completed a flight test from the Point Mugu Sea Range, launching
from a special land-based launch site on San Nicolas Island. Although the
missile is designed for eventual use in Aegis-equipped ships, none participated
in this live-fire test.
The Point Mugu Sea Range was selected to support the test in part because of
the ability to isolate the launch on Navy-owned San Nicolas Island, located 60
miles from shore. That distance from the populated mainland increases the margin
of safety for live-fire tests, according to Sea Range Test Manager Jon Fimea.
The Sea Range itself, encompassing 36,000 square miles of controlled sea and
air space, can increase that margin of isolation while providing in-depth
monitoring and evaluation capabilities. That controlled space can also be
expanded to accommodate larger exercises.
"For bigger tests, like this launch," said Tom Dowd, director of Naval Air
Systems Command ranges, "we are able to extend our capabilities and coordinate
with other service entities, like Vandenberg Air Force Base, to help provide
continuous tracking and data coverage to impact."
Program officials will conduct an extensive analysis of gathered data,
gauging the missile's performance during the successful test.
The SM-3 Block IIA is a three-stage missile designed to intercept ballistic
missiles threats above the earth's atmosphere. It does not use explosives to
effect an intercept, instead destroying threat missiles using a kinetic warhead.
The warhead collides with the threat warhead at very high speed, destroying the
Aegis BMD is the naval component of the Ballistic Missile Defense System. The
MDA and the U.S. Navy cooperatively manage the Aegis BMD program. Additional
information about all elements of the BMDS can be found at www.mda.mil.
For more information about the Point Mugu Sea Test Range, visit
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