The United States has successfully tested a new ballistic missile defense interceptor, the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) said, according to RIA Novosti.
The Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) system was flight tested on board the USS Lake Erie (CG 70), resulting in “the first intercept of a short-range ballistic missile target over the Pacific Ocean” by the Navy’s newest Missile Defense interceptor, the Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block 1B.
The target missile was launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility, located on Kauai, Hawaii, at 8:18 p.m. Hawaiian Standard Time (10:18 GMT May 10).
The USS Lake Erie detected and tracked the missile with its onboard AN/SPY-1 radar and launched the SM-3 Block IB interceptor.
“The kinetic warhead acquired the target, diverted into its path, and, using only the force of a direct impact, engaged and destroyed the threat in a hit-to-kill intercept,” the MDA said.
Aegis BMD is the sea-based midcourse component of the MDA’s Ballistic Missile Defense System and is designed to intercept and destroy short to intermediate-range ballistic missile threats.
The interceptor is an essential element of an anti-missile system the United States is building in and around Europe and is to be deployed in Romania by 2015.