At approximately 2:30 a.m. EST today, three short-range ballistic missile targets were launched near simultaneously from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, Virginia. Two Aegis BMD destroyers acquired and tracked the targets. Using this data, the Aegis BMD ships conducted simulated Standard Missile-3 Block IB guided missile engagements with the distributed weighted engagement scheme (DWES) capability enabled. 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.
Several fire control, discrimination, and engagement functions were exercised. As no SM-3 guided missiles were launched, the test did not include an attempted intercept.
This test was designated Flight Test Other (FTX)-19. 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 test results to improve and enhance the Ballistic Missile Defense System and support the advancement of Phase 2 of the Phased Adaptive Approach for missile defense in Europe to provide protection of U.S. deployed forces, our European allies and partners.
Aegis BMD is the naval component of the MDA’s Ballistic Missile Defense System. The MDA and the U.S. Navy cooperatively manage the Aegis BMD program. Additional information about all elements of the Ballistic Missile Defense System can be found at www.mda.mil.
Release No: NR-064-15
February 24, 2015