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US conducts missile defence test against multiple targets

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THAAD launch. Photo: US MDA

WASHINGTON (BNS): The US military has successfully conducted a complex missile defence flight test, resulting in the intercept of two medium-range ballistic missile targets, according to the Department of Defence (DoD).

The test stressed the ability of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) and Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) weapon systems to function in a layered defence architecture and defeat a raid of two near-simultaneous ballistic missile targets.

The test conducted on Tuesday in the vicinity of the U S Army Kwajalein Atoll/Reagan Test Site was planned more than a year ago, and is not in any way connected to events in the Middle East, the statement said.

Two medium-range ballistic missile targets were launched on operationally realistic trajectories towards a defended area near Kwajalein. Along with overhead space assets providing launch alerts, an Army-Navy/Transportable Radar Surveillance and Control (AN/TPY-2) radar in Forward Based Mode detected the targets and relayed track information to the Command, Control, Battle Management, and Communications (C2BMC) system for further transmission to defending BMDS assets.

The USS Decatur with its Aegis Weapon System detected and tracked the first target with its onboard AN/SPY-1 radar. The Aegis BMD weapon system developed a fire control solution, launched a Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IA missile, and successfully intercepted the target.

In a demonstration of BMDS layered defence capabilities, a second AN/TPY-2 radar in Terminal Mode, located with the THAAD weapon system, acquired and tracked the target missiles.

THAAD developed a fire control solution, launched a THAAD interceptor missile, and successfully intercepted the second medium-range ballistic missile target. THAAD was operated by soldiers from the Alpha Battery, 2nd Air Defence Artillery Regiment.

As a planned demonstration of THAAD's layered defence capabilities, a second THAAD interceptor was launched at the target destroyed by Aegis as a contingency in the event the SM-3 did not achieve an intercept.

According to preliminary reports, all components performed as designed. MDA officials will extensively assess and evaluate system performance based upon telemetry and other data obtained during the test, it said.

The flight test was carried out by the Missile Defense Agency (MDA), Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) Operational Test Agency, Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense, and U S Pacific Command, along with U S Army soldiers from the Alpha Battery, 2nd Air Defense Artillery Regiment, U S Navy sailors aboard the guided missile destroyer USS Decatur (DDG-73), and U S Air Force airmen from the 613th Air and Operations Centre.

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US  MDA  Missile  
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