KEKAHA, Hawaii, April 18 (UPI) -- A shipboard Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System in Hawaii has for the first time engaged an Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile using remote AN/TPY-2 radar.
Lockheed Martin said the ABM system fired a Standard missile using real-time information from a remote sensor prior to the shipboard SPY-1 radar acquiring the inbound missile.
"The Lockheed Martin-led team has evolved Aegis from an anti-ship missile system to the basis for the U.S. approach to global missile defense," said Lisa Callahan, vice president of maritime ballistic missile defense programs. "With this test, Aegis BMD proves that it can expand the battlespace and destroy ballistic missile threats earlier in their trajectory than ever before."
The destroyer USS O'Kane employed the first-generation Aegis BMD configuration to complete the exercise conducted by the Missile Defense Agency, the U.S. Navy and Lockheed Martin. This configuration, which added the capability for ships to defend themselves from short-range ballistic missiles in the terminal phase of flight, was certified for operations by the Navy in March 2008.
There are 25 Aegis BMD-equipped ships deployed -- 21 U.S. Navy ships and four Japanese destroyers. Three additional ships are planned to become BMD-capable this year, Lockheed Martin said.