Aegis BMD System Intercepts Mock Warhead

Aegis BMD System Intercepts Mock Warhead

The U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and the Navy’s Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMD) successfully intercepted a mock-warhead above the earth’s atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean May 15, Pentagon officials said.

A separating short-range ballistic missile target was launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility, on Kauai, Hawaii, an MDA statement indicated. “Initial indications are that all components performed as designed,” the statement reads.

The test exercised the latest version of the second-generation Aegis BMD Weapon System and Standard Missile, providing capability for engagement of longer-range and more sophisticated ballistic missiles, the statement added.

“This continues to demonstrate the validity of the Aegis Weapons System and the Standard Missile-3 Block IB missile,” said Rick Lehner, an MDA spokesman.

The Aegis BMD 4.0 Weapon System is essentially the integrated technology, consisting of hardware and software, needed to ensure the fire control system works to properly launch the interceptor missile and guide it to its intended target, Lehner explained.

The test was conducted by Navy sailors aboard the USS Lake Erie, a guided-missile cruiser, which detected and tracked the missile with its on-board AN/SPY-1 radar, an electronically scanned array which is part of the Aegis Weapon System.

“The ship, equipped with the second-generation Aegis BMD weapon system, developed a fire control solution and launched the SM-3 Block IB missile. The SM-3 maneuvered to a point in space based on guidance from Aegis BMD Weapons Systems and released its kinetic warhead. The kinetic warhead acquired the target reentry vehicle, diverted into its path, and, using only the force of a direct impact, engaged and destroyed the target,” an MDA statement reads.

Lehner also added that the SM-3 1B missile has a more advanced seeker and more advanced “attitude control system,” when compared with prior models of the missile such as the SM-3 Block 1A missile.

“The attitude control system is a small system of rocket motors that maneuvers the kill vehicle in space,” he added.

Aegis BMD’s upgraded signal processor enables the Navy to defeat more sophisticated ballistic missile threats as a result of improved target identification capabilities, according to a press statement from Lockheed Martin, maker of the Aegis Weapon System 4.0.

“On the ship system and the missile there are capabilities built into the system to do what we call discrimination of the target complex where the radar on the ship and the seeker on the missile look at the scene that’s presented and take measurements. They determine the proper object to engage from those measurements,” said Nick Bucci, director of BMD development programs for Lockheed Martin’s Mission Systems and Training.

The computing suite on the system is designed to accommodate future upgrades and integrate future improvements as they become available, according to a Lockheed statement.

The test of the MDA’s BMD system, including the Aegis Weapon System 4.0 as well as the SM-3 Block IB are also significant with regard to the Pentagon’s longer term Aegis Ashore program, referred to as a European Phased Adaptive Approach (PAA).

The Aegis Ashore plan calls for an effort to build and insert land-based SM-3 Block 1B missiles at fixed sites in Romania and Poland, by 2015 and 2017, respectively.

The concept is for the “fixed” or land sites to work in tandem with Aegis ships within range in order to widen the BMD protective envelope across wider swaths of the globe, improving protection for the continental U.S. and key U.S. allies.

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AEGIS ashore, coming to Pacific islands near you.

That was the idea in Europe.

They really really really need to put Aegis ashore everywhere we have bases in the Pacific, and do it yesterday. Those bases on Guam, Japan and elsewhere are sitting ducks and we know that they would be taken out in the first few minutes of a shoot out with China.


Usful system until they share all the data / specs witih Russia!

Would it not make better sense to put an AMDR in the Pacific or Europe vice the Aegis radar. AMDR should be able to work with the Standard Missile but has greater range and ability against ballistic missiles.

I believe that they are trying to put AMDR on Burke flight III destroyers

In principle, SPY-1 is better kept in a ship. On a boat, different place every day.

But never leave home without missile defense coverage.

The entire program is a multi-billion dollar fraud. They haven’t the range to shoot down long range missiles. Here is the scoop. http://​www​.g2mil​.com/​d​e​v​e​s​e​l​u​.​htm

Roy, someone’s blog doesn’t count as a true referenced source. Find us some scholarly work to look at-not just someone’s opinions.

They are correct in that an ICBM will fly higher, and probably be in the terminal phase by the time Romanian or Polish AEGIS Ashore platforms are “in range”: in which case, it’s too late.

Re Iran, a Shahab’s published maximum altitude is 400 km. http://​csis​.org/​f​i​l​e​s​/​p​u​b​l​i​c​a​t​i​o​n​/​0​9​0​8​1​9​_​G​C​C​_​I​ran

So unless the SM-3’s >160km is more like 400km..

AEGIS Ashore would require missile batteries in the Caucasus or the Black Sea to defend Europe. Maybe one in eastern Turkey for good measure?

/However/, if you are lucky SM-3’s fired in waves could be used against objects in terminal phase. And I suppose there may be situations where the Shahab doesn’t have to be fired at maximum altitude to strike a target, and in those circumstances the SM-3 would have the range to do the job.

That said, it’s possible they may strap on another stage to the Standard to extend its range even more. Or try the old F-15 never-fielded ASAT missile trick. Fly an F-15 as high as it’ll go, zoom climb, kick up the intercepting missile and pray it can lock and hit the target in early boost or midcourse, depending on where the F-15 is flying from. Conceivably F-15s out of Turkey could scramble and fire on a missile flying over Russian airspace towards Europe.

Or alternatively, design anti-BM missiles that can be launched from bombers, but it would require armed bombers on alert status.

1) “A separating short-range ballistic missile target was launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility”, I’m not doubting the post, but I would feel more at ease if they listed the launch vehicle system.

2)“The kinetic warhead acquired the target reentry vehicle, diverted into its path, and, using only the force of a direct impact, engaged and destroyed the target”.….not an explosive det.warhead in the vicinity of the re-entry vehicle?? so basically the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System smashed a projectile which does not contain an explosive charge or any other kind of charge into a irbm re-entry vehicle??? is it 2040 & I’ve been asleep?.…sorry for the sarcasm…USN guy’s, no offense intended.… but.. didn’t the AF try the same thing a few years ago under POTUS BUSH II off the Alaskan Coast, & had only a 60% prob. of destroying the rev w/a explosive warhead!.…or is this the phase IV of the european missile shield that POTUS Obamas’ “off mike” moment caught with Menendev? It’ was supposed to be a land based irbm designed to intercept Iranian irbms at their apogee & explode thus destroying the improved potentially nuke tipped Sajjil-2??? My dog is givin’ me that look, like when he smells dead fish.…. time 4 my meds.….

yup, I think phase IV was canceled, the missile deployment phase, to be replaced with ‘Naval Based Platforms’, as not to “offend” Putin. Maybe to “Buy” a useless vote in the UN when the Rusky’s can’t get ships into Tart*s fast enough, exporting a cash crop.…weapons! Golly the Navy’s going be all over at once, or were goin’ see a lot of shipbuilding real fast!

The Chi**se have probably already hacked it from the contractor!

But aren’t “boats” pretty easy to track with sat surveil. or maritime aircraft? Land based systems I think have a little more survivability, a la the serbian air campaign, where mobile missile systems were simply hidden in one instance a cave, the other a salt or scilica mine entrance & smaller ada systems just parked under heavyily wooded areas? Weren’t a few AV-8B’s lost to this simplified trickery? Would the old SPY-1F foot this type of bill also?

AEGIS Ashore isn’t mobile. It would be a matter of time. Perhaps it would be camoflauged, but that’s just buying time.

KrazyCOL…what the hell are you talking about? We (the USA) have been making successful Hit-to-Kill intercepts for three decades now, beginning in the mid 1980s. The Kill Vehicles on the THAAD, the AEGIS Standard SM-3, and the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) as well as the Patriot PAC-3 ABMs are ALL HIT-TO-KILL based interceptors. I think you have been asleep.

If you’re curious about the targets used, from the vendor:

While I’m not Navy, I’m fam. w/the system from reading AFJ, C4ISR Jour. Proceedings, &T &S ad nauesm, my Q implied would employing them a la the chinese with the system possibly rail mounted into a tunnel of which I think the # of miles is approach. 2K for them is feasible for increased projection/stealth then rollin’ them out once a launch is detected?

Thanks blight!

I’m not doubting that, whats the % of HIT to Kill launches that were sucess.? I compared the MDC’%‘s, the Aegis BMD 4.0 Weapon System%‘s from info stated on their web site & another source & they all list “Hits“
%‘s that are different. I’m just refer. the Aegis BMD 4.0 Weapon System only.….calm down, no use of cussin @ me & being condescending that I don’t obv. have your expert level of knowledge. I have one person already having dis’d everything about me, 1’s enough.

I found it interesting (& thanks for the reply) that your web site lists two type missles, the GQM 163ACoyote plus the Short Range Air-Launch Target (SRALT), neither of which fits the “A separating short-range ballistic missile” quoted in the MDC PR or the separating ballistic missile target quoted by the DOD. Just an observation, or maybe poor symantics?

I think you’re right. Time to dig some more.

There’s some terrible fluff piece I found from Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance (who are they?) http://​www​.missiledefenseadvocacy​.org/​n​e​w​s​.​a​s​p​x?n

Off the late afternoon’s brilliant sun sinking West and away from Barking Sands, Kauai, shot a four stage target missile that propelled with force through the blue Hawaiian sky. The target rocket launched at 5:25pm (HST) that looked, from a distance, to have a black vertical strip and climbed fast at a steep angle with trailing flames from the rocket engine bigger than the missile itself.

The first stage fell back but continued to propel upwards as the second stage sent a sonic boom as it reached the borders of space.

Two more stages took place as the target warhead, with the debris from the separating stages surrounding it, was struck by the SM-3 Block IB missile kill vehicle destroying it.”

The description is weird. Four(?!) stages? That said, armed with images of orbital sciences products (http://​www​.orbital​.com/​N​e​w​s​I​n​f​o​/​P​u​b​l​i​c​a​t​i​o​n​s​/​R​o​c​k​e​t​C​o​n​f​i​g​.​pdf) I didn’t think I could match the description. I think they are suggesting it is ground instead of air launched. Additionally, I get the feeling that when they say “separating”, they meant a multi-stage missile, not a missile with MIRVs. If so, that’s kind of meh. Working to confirm.

The description seems at odds with the terse DOD “a separating short-range ballistic missile”. Any USAF guys who can figure out the missile used as target? I would’ve guessed SRALT or LRALT, but…

Ballistic missile warheads always “separate” from their boosting missiles. The expression is like saying a missile is “forward-firing.” I’m more interested in whether the whole training exercise was rigged. Obiviously, the USS Lake Erie knew an ballistic missile was out there. They really need to lauch a ballistic missile at-random over the next three months and see if it’s picked up in all the clutter and destroyed.

Agreed. All rockets intended to go far require multiple stages. After a particular stage has exhausted its fuel supply, the dead weight isn’t worth carrying.

However, I thought I would look into the word “separating” to clarify if they meant multi-stage or MIRV. It could go either way, since MIRV’s are a legitimate threat to prepare for.

I’ll have a good post in a day or 2 comparing from 4 dod, navy & USAF the number of tests & “Hits”. They all appear to have diff. %‘s, like I said, not knocking any one’s service but my hound smells some dead fish. & blight not talking multiple ind. re-ent. veh’s. which are a nightmare & why the U.S scrapped the ABM treaty with the rusky’s in (’72)?because intell sources were reporting they would have a crude (3-mirv’s) albeit operational mirv warhead ICBM within 3–5 years

let me say this 1st, anyone in the navy or af, etc I consider a brother in arms, I don’t give a flyin” F**K what any of you internet wizards have 2 say about me, including that little p**k major 0, who I now have a hor lock on!, my DD214 speaks 4 itself. I’ve found 8 different post’s about this missle system from MDA.DOD, USN, the contractor, & even went back a 1 1/2 to 2 years on other posts. This is bullsheet spot on, I’m a PE I have a stamp, like a Notary, when I stamp a blueprint, an ea, a runway construction plan, float bridge cap. etc thats my prof. rep on the line. I say the BEST we can expect from a single launch is 2 sigma.….. if you put the sceanrio of those newly deployed missles the ruskys sent to Syria, Along with their increased naval precence, & their ships that carry WHAT?, PLUS the existing anti-ship missles already in syria… I think their called onyx, they fire a volley of 6 PER Battery, put 5 battries on the shore, along with their ships.….…..and you ain’t getting within 200 miles of that coastline come hell or high water. If you try with your much glorified Navy, and I do respect it.… your losin alot of ships, and marines PERIOD! taxpayer is spot on this whole thing is a staged test. deploy 4 of the Aegis ships w/that missle system and fire an volley of lets say 4 Atlas V HLV’s unannouced at four different targets and then tell me how your kinetic warhead does. I suspect this whole thing is some front, I want to know what kind of launch vehicle was used for the target test vehicle.…..then we’ll know if this is the real deal, and even if it is your proability of defeating a volley attack is MAYBE 80% but I wouldn’t “stamp that” I think Roy’s post might be closer to the truth than we may want to ALL beleive based upon the billions that have been poured into weapon systems that ain’t worth a sheet!, I will not waste your time name’in them!

No discussion I have seen references the systems most obvious shortfall. If the incoming missile is “MIRVed” or has a “spread of decoys” system to fool the defensive weapon then it is useless under a determined foe’s attack. The best way to overcome this shortfall would be a high powered warhead with “proximity” detonation sufficient to “Shotgun” the incoming. It would also have to fired in multiples. This methodology already is in use with the systems aboard ships used to destroy incoming “wave skimmer” missiles. I am not up on this technology but even I see serious shortfalls.

China already tested and produce a number of DF-21D missiles and launchers. We (USA) should focus on the defense of the same type of equipment and anti DF21D missile interceptors.

“Tests”, as this one was, are by definition “rigged” and performed under very controlled circumstances so you can reduce the number of variables affecting the system’s performance. If you don’t control as many variables as you can and the thing does something you don’t expect, or fails, you will have no idea why if you can’t eliminate variables. To say “the test was rigged” is absolutely true, and it is DESIGNED THAT WAY. It would be a waste of time to just randomly shoot something off and see if it works without controlling the test rnvironment. What Taxpayer is suggesting … which is to see how the system performs in a realistic scenario with a random launch of a target missile … in my experience is called an exercise … not a test.

Krazy, the Aegis folks are quite good at hitting a bullet with a bullet. You have been sleeping.

All you Air Farce and Army guys seem upset that the Navy Has a system that works when your newer systems have failed. Quit wasting money and use what works??? It may be short range and it may not have an explosive warhead but it worked. The Air Force just tried their new system and it failed for the second time…hum.

Tactics may win this discussion. Let’s say the first wave of incoming MIRV’d ballistic missiles is a traditional saturation attack. We take them out with our never-fails, “bullet-hits-a-bullet” missile defense systems, from whatever ship or shore based platform. Only problem, is that the first wave was entire outfitted with DECOYS! Then, we see a second wave of incoming with REAL warheads! We’re out of ammo, and they take out our “defense” ships and ground launch platforms. Third wave comes in with NO opposition and takes out the real targets! Sound plausible? If you got money, like China, it’s probably the operational tactic. Which really means we can’t wait around and play defense. We need to get them on the way up, and take out the launch platforms a minute after we see the reverse trajectory.


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