KAUAI, Hawaii, Sept. 19 (UPI) -- A short-range, separating ballistic missile target was intercepted nearly simultaneously by two Standard Missile-3 Block IB guided missiles, officials said.
The test of Lockheed Martin's second-generation Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense Weapons System, using the USS Lake Erie, was conducted at sea by the company, the U.S. Missile Defense Agency and the U.S. Navy.
Lockheed said the intercepted missile was the most sophisticated target to date to test the system, which is equipped with the SPY-1 radar.
The Aegis system and SPY-1 radar provide the U.S. and allied nations with advanced surveillance, anti-air warfare and missile defense capabilities.
"This latest test is the first time we have seen USS Lake Erie, sailors, and Aegis BMD Weapon System schedule, analyze, launch and control multiple missiles in flight through intercept at the same time," said Nick Bucci, Director of BMD Development Programs at Lockheed Martin's Mission Systems & Training business. "The Aegis BMD 4.0.2 configuration provides the Navy with the ability to respond to ever increasing and evolving ballistic missile threats around the world with persistent and reliable capabilities."
The Missile Defense Agency and U.S. Navy are jointly developing Aegis BMD as part of the U.S. Ballistic Missile Defense System. So far 27 Aegis BMD-equipped warships have the certified capability to engage ballistic missiles. Four ships in the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force are also equipped with the system.