BMDS showcases layered defences
The US’ ballistic missile defense system (BMDS) has undergone operational testing to demonstrate its ability to defeat three near-simultaneous air and missile targets, consisting of one medium range ballistic missile, one short range ballistic missile and one cruise missile target.
The test was carried out by Lockheed Martin, the US Army, US Navy, US Air Force and the Missile Defense Agency at Wake Island.
The test saw the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) weapon system and the Aegis ballistic missile defense system aboard USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53) receive support from a sensor command-and-control architecture that included an AN/TPY-2 radar, and the Command, Control, Battle Management and Communications (C2BMC) suite.
The AN/TPY-2 radar detected the target and relayed track information to the C2BMC system to cue defending BMDS assets. The THAAD system destroyed both the medium range and short range ballistic missiles, and the Aegis system defeated the air-breathing target.
The THAAD system, operated by soldiers from the Alpha Battery, 4th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, used a second AN/TPY-2 radar to track the target, then developed a fire-control solution, launched a THAAD interceptor missile and successfully intercepted the short-range ballistic missile and the medium-range ballistic missile.
The ‘air breather’ cruise-missile target was engaged by USS John Paul Jones using Aegis Baseline 9’s integrated air and missile defence capability.
Preliminary data indicate Lockheed Martin systems were successful.
Richard McDaniel, vice president and program manager for THAAD, Lockheed Martin, said: ‘Today’s successful intercepts proved once again that the capability and maturity of the Lockheed Martin missile defence systems are unequalled. This realistic and complex operational test demonstrated that a multi-tier layered defence is essential in the protection of nations from current and emerging air and missile threats.’
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