US intercepts ICBM target with destroyer-launched SM-3 Block IIA missile


Photo by Northrop Grumman

The U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA), and U.S. Navy sailors aboard the USS John Finn (DDG-113), an Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) System-equipped destroyer, successfully intercepted and destroyed a threat-representative Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) target with a Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IIA missile during a flight test demonstration in the broad ocean area northeast of Hawaii, Nov. 16.

The ICBM-representative target was launched from the Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site, located on Kwajalein Atoll in Marshall Islands, toward the broad ocean area northeast of Hawaii.

In this developmental test, the destroyer used engage-on-remote capabilities through the Command and Control Battle Management Communications (C2BMC) network as part of a defense of Hawaii scenario. After receiving tracking data from the C2BMC system, the destroyer launched a SM-3 Block IIA guided missile which destroyed the target.

“This was an incredible accomplishment and critical milestone for the Aegis BMD SM-3 Block IIA program,” Vice Admiral Jon Hill, MDA director said.

“The Department is investigating the possibility of augmenting the Ground-based Midcourse Defense system by fielding additional sensors and weapon systems to hedge against unexpected developments in the missile threat.”