The Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Weapon System with its Standard Missile (SM)-3 successfully intercepted a separating ballistic missile target outside the earth's atmosphere during its midcourse phase of flight today. Both the Aegis Weapon System aboard the guided missile cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG 70) and range sensors confirmed a direct hit of the missile target over the Pacific Ocean. Lockheed Martin
USS Lake Erie, outfitted with the emergency engagement and Long Range Surveillance and Track (LRS&T) capability, acquired the target autonomously and provided guidance commands to the SM-3 to intercept the target. In addition to USS Lake Erie, the guided missile destroyer USS Hopper (DDG 70) participated in today's test. USS Hopper was deployed with tactical LRS&T capability. USS Hopper's Aegis BMD Weapon System detected and tracked the ballistic missile target, and provided fire control information to other elements of the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS).
This test, Flight Test Mission 04-2, marks the sixth time the Lockheed Martin Aegis BMD Weapon System successfully guided its SM-3 to a ballistic missile target intercept and the first time that the system intercepted a separating ballistic missile. The test was sponsored by the Missile Defense Agency (MDA).
"Aegis BMD is at sea today protecting the United States and its allies. This Flight Test Mission demonstrates yet again both the capabilities that are now in the hands of our U.S. Navy Sailors and the enduring commitment this team has to Aegis engineering excellence," said Orlando Carvalho, vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin Maritime Systems & Sensors business unit in Moorestown.
The MDA and the U.S. Navy are jointly developing Aegis BMD as part of the BMDS. Ultimately 15 Aegis destroyers and three Aegis cruisers will be outfitted with the capability to conduct LRS&T and engagement of short- and medium-range ballistic missile threats using the Aegis BMD Weapon System and its SM-3. To date, 10 Aegis destroyers have been upgraded with the LRS&T capability and two Aegis cruisers have been outfitted with the emergency engagement and LRS&T capability.
The Aegis Weapon System is the world's premier naval surface defense system and is the foundation for Aegis BMD, the primary component of the sea- based element of the United States' BMDS. The Aegis BMD Weapon System and its BMD Weapon System variant seamlessly integrate the SPY-1 radar, the MK 41 Vertical Launching System and the SM-3 missile the weapon system's command and control system. The Aegis BMD Weapon System also integrates with the BMDS, receiving cues from and providing cueing information to other BMDS elements.
The Aegis Weapon System is currently deployed on more than 75 ships around the globe with 30 more ships planned. In addition to the U.S., Aegis is the maritime weapon system of choice for Japan, South Korea, Norway and Spain. Recently, Australia selected Aegis for its new Air Warfare Destroyer program. Japan will begin installation of Aegis BMD in one of its Kongo class Aegis destroyers in 2007.
Lockheed Martin is a world leader in systems integration and the development of air and missile defense systems and technologies, including the first operational hit-to-kill missile defense system, PAC-3. It also has considerable experience in interceptor systems, kill vehicles, battle management command, control and communications, precision pointing and tracking optics, as well as radar and other sensors that enable signal processing and data fusion. The company makes significant contributions to nearly all major U.S. Missile Defense Systems and participates in several global missile defense partnerships. Lockheed Martin Corporation is headquartered in Bethesda, MD.
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SOURCE: Lockheed Martin
CONTACT: Ken Ross of Lockheed Martin, +1-856-722-6941, or cell,
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