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US tests AEGIS ballistic missile defence system

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Three short-range ballistic missile targets are launched from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops Island, Virginia, as part of the BMD test. A US MDA photo

WALLOPS, VIRGINIA (BNS): The US Missile Defence Agency (MDA) has successfully carried out sea-based ballistic missile defence (BMD) test involving the AEGIS weapon system onboard three of its warships -- USS Carney, USS Gonzalez and USS Barry.

The test, conducted at around 2:30 am EST (0730 GMT) on Tuesday, involved three short-range ballistic missile targets that were launched near simultaneously from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility, Virginia.

Two AEGIS BMD destroyers acquired and tracked the targets. Using data, the warships conducted simulated Standard Missile-3 Block IB guided missile engagements with the distributed weighted engagement scheme (DWES) capability enabled, Pentagon announced.

"The DWES provides an automated engagement coordination scheme between multiple AEGIS BMD ships that determines which ship is the preferred shooter, reducing duplication of BMD engagements and missile expenditures while ensuring BMD threat coverage," it said.

Several fire control, discrimination, and engagement functions were exercised during the test.

As no SM-3 guided missiles were launched, the test did not include an attempted intercept, the US Defence Department said in a release.

This was the first flight test to assess the ability of the AEGIS BMD 4.0 weapon system to simulate engagements of a raid consisting of three short-range, separating ballistic missile targets. This was also the first time AEGIS BMD 4.0 ships used the DWES capability with live targets.

The MDA will use the test results to improve and enhance the Ballistic Missile Defence System and support the advancement of Phase 2 of the Phased Adaptive Approach for missile defence in Europe to provide protection to US forces, its European allies and partners.

AEGIS BMD is the naval component of the MDA's Ballistic Missile Defence System. The AEGIS BMD engagement capability defeats short- to intermediate-range, unitary and separating, midcourse-phase ballistic missile threats with the Standard Missile-3 (SM-3), as well as short-range ballistic missiles in the terminal phase with the SM-2 Block IV missile.

Tags:

US  MDA  BMD  Ballistic Missile  AEGIS  SM-3  Warship  
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