New Aegis missile destroys target

May 10, 2012 at 1:48 PM

ARLINGTON, Va., May 10 (UPI) -- A short-range ballistic missile was successfully destroyed over the Pacific Ocean Thursday by the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System's new missile.

The Standard Missile-3 Block 1B missile was fired from the USS Lake Erie in the first successful live-fire intercept test of the SM-3 Block IB interceptor and the second-generation Aegis BMD 4.0.1 weapon system.

"Initial indications are that all components performed as designed," the U.S. Missile Defense Agency said. "Program officials will conduct an extensive assessment and evaluation of system performance based upon telemetry and other data obtained during the test."

The second-generation Aegis BMD 4.0.1 system and the SM-3 Block IB interceptor boost the system's ability to engage longer range and more sophisticated ballistic missiles.

The interceptor features a two-color infrared seeker and enhancing sensitivity for longer-range target acquisition and target processing. It also includes an upgraded signal processor and a more flexible maneuverability in flight, the MDA said.

The earlier Aegis 3.6.1 weapon system, using a SM-3 Block IA interceptor missile and designed to down short- and intermediate-range missiles, is currently deployed on U.S. Navy cruisers and destroyers.

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