MDA conducts biggest missile defence test
The Missile Defense Agency (MDA), US Army soldiers from the 94th and 32nd Army Air and Missile Defense Command (AAMDC); US Navy sailors aboard the USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62); and airmen from the 613th Air and Space Operations Center successfully conducted the largest, most complex missile defence flight test ever attempted resulting in the simultaneous engagement of five ballistic missile and cruise missile targets.
An integrated air and ballistic missile defence architecture used multiple sensors and missile defence systems to engage multiple targets at the same time. All targets were successfully launched and initial indications are that the terminal high altitude area defence (THAAD) system successfully intercepted its first medium range ballistic target in history, and Patriot advanced capability-3 (PAC-3) near simultaneously destroyed a short range ballistic missile and a low flying cruise missile target over water.
The live-fire demonstration, conducted at US Army Kwajalein Atoll/Reagan test site, Hickam AFB, and surrounding areas in the western Pacific, stressed the performance of the Aegis ballistic missile defence (BMD), THAAD, and Patriot weapon systems.
An extended long-range air launch target (E-LRALT) missile was air-dropped over the broad ocean area north of Wake Island from a US Air Force C-17 aircraft, staged from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. The AN/TPY-2 X-band radar, located with the THAAD system on Meck Island, tracked the E-LRALT and a THAAD interceptor successfully intercepted the medium-range ballistic missile.