US tests Aegis BMD Combat System
The US Navy’s USS John Paul Jones (DDG-53), an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, has successfully used Lockheed Martin’s Aegis Baseline 9 terminal engagement capability to detect and track a Medium Range Ballistic Missile (MRBM) target under the Flight Test Other-21 (FTX-21) test, Lockheed Martin announced on 19 May.
Baseline 9 is the latest evolution of the Aegis Combat System, certified in January 2016 by the navy and Missile Defense Agency. This latest Aegis Baseline provides integration with external ship systems and advanced defence capabilities.
It is fitted with the BMD 5.0 Capability Upgrade to engage ballistic missiles from the lower and upper atmosphere. It also has the SPY-1 naval phased array radar for advanced anti-air warfare, surveillance and missile defence capabilities.
Paul Klammer, director of Aegis BMD at Lockheed Martin, said: ‘This complex test demonstrates the continuing evolution of Aegis and builds further confidence in our ability to detect and maintain tracking on these types of threats.
‘The Navy and Missile Defense Agency, along with our engineers, build on the lessons learned from every test to ensure Aegis is keeping pace with dynamic threats.’
The tests build on the system's successful tests in 2015, when it demonstrated its Integrated Air and Missile Defence capabilities and three Baseline 9 variants were certified.
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