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MDA and USN report successful Aegis test against advanced countermeasure missile target

The Aegis Ashore Missile Defense Test Complex conducted a successful ballistic missile defence test. (US Army)

The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and US Navy (USN) successfully demonstrated that the Aegis Weapon System can track and discriminate a medium-range ballistic missile target with countermeasures during a complex target scene, the MDA confirmed on 8 February.

The MDA also confirmed the successful execution of Flight Test Other-23 (FTX-23) or Stellar Sisyphus, a two-part developmental test of sensor tracking and communications link capabilities.

The first part of the multisensor test conducted off the coast of the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Kauai, Hawaii, successfully demonstrated the tracking and discrimination of the target missile, the MDA said.

The second part of the test included the firing of a 3 Block IIA Standard Missile (SM-3 Blk IIA), which intercepted the same medium-range ballistic missile target, “verifying additional functionality of the SM-3 Blk IIA”, the MDA said.

Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers USS McCampbell (DDG 85) and USS Jack H Lucas (DDG 125), the Aegis Ashore Missile Defense Test Complex, and Advanced Radar Development Evaluation Laboratory participated in the testing, collecting valuable tracking data on the target, the MDA added.

The test represented “one of the most complicated target discrimination and intercept missions by the Aegis Weapon System to date”, the MDA said.

Calling the test a “key milestone”, Lieutenant General Heath Collins, MDA director, said the capability being demonstrated would provide Aegis ballistic missile defence ships “increased sensing and tracking tools to combat threat proliferation”.

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