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Aegis Missile Defense Test Set For Thursday In Pacific

By | June 2, 2008

      The Aegis ballistic missile defense system will be tested Thursday in the Pacific, with two interceptor missiles attempting to annihilate the short-range target missile in the terminal phase of its trajectory instead of in the midcourse, the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) announced.

      That test by the Navy and MDA will be conducted at the Pacific Missile Range Facility near Barking Sands, Kauai, Hawaii.

      Equipment involved will include the current tactically-certified and deployed version of the Aegis weapon control system by Lockheed Martin Corp. [LMT], and a pair of modified SM-2 (Standard Missile-2) Block IV missiles by Raytheon Co. [RTN].

      A target will be launched from a mobile platform. Then a Navy cruiser will detect and track the target with its SPY-1B radar; develop fire control solutions, and its crew will fire two SM-2 Blk IV missiles.

      The Aegis BMD Weapon System will guide the SM-2 Blk IVs to achieve either a direct body-to-body hit between the interceptor and the threat or a near-direct hit, where a blast fragmentation warhead places high pressure, heat and fragments on the threat. Intercept is anticipated in the endo-atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean.

      Designated Flight Test Maritime-14 (FTM-14), The FTM-14 test objectives include evaluation of: the ballistic missile defense system (BMDS) ability to intercept and kill a short range ballistic missile target with the Aegis system, modified with the terminal mission capability; the modified SM-2 Blk IV missile using the SPY-1 radar cue; and system-level integration of the BMDS.

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