Wednesday, February 21, 2024

US military intercepts ballistic missile target during test

The U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and Navy have achieved a significant milestone by successfully executing Flight Test Other-23 (FTX-23), also known as Stellar Sisyphus.

According to a press release from MDA, this developmental test, conducted off the coast of the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Hawaii, comprised two crucial components aimed at enhancing sensor tracking and communications link capabilities.

During the first phase of the test, the Aegis Weapon System demonstrated its ability to track and discern a complex target scenario involving a Medium Range Ballistic Missile target equipped with countermeasures. This successful demonstration underscores the system’s advanced tracking capabilities in the face of evolving threats.

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In the second phase, a Standard Missile – 3 Block IIA (SM-3 Blk IIA) was launched, intercepting the same Medium Range Ballistic Missile target and validating additional functionalities of the SM-3 Blk IIA. This successful interception further reinforces the effectiveness of the Aegis Weapon System in countering ballistic missile threats.

A Medium Range Ballistic Missile target with countermeasures is air launched from a US Air Force C-17 Globemaster III at Pacific Missile Range Facility in Hawaii during FTX-23 on Feb. 8.

Lt. Gen. Heath Collins, Director of the MDA, emphasized the collaborative effort between the MDA and the Navy to provide enhanced capabilities against evolving threats. He hailed the test as a significant achievement, highlighting the dedication of U.S. Navy sailors, the MDA team, and industry partners.

Participating assets included U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers USS McCampbell (DDG 85) and USS Jack H. Lucas (DDG 125), along with the Aegis Ashore Missile Defense Test Complex and Advanced Radar Development Evaluation Laboratory. These assets played a crucial role in collecting valuable tracking data on the target, contributing to future improvements in tracking and discrimination capabilities.

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Executive Editor

About author:

Colton Jones
Colton Jones
Colton Jones is the deputy editor of Defence Blog. He is a US-based journalist, writer and publisher who specializes in the defense industry in North America and Europe. He has written about emerging technology in military magazines and elsewhere. He is a former Air Force airmen and served at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany.

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