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.

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