Lockheed Martin-U.S. Navy Aegis Weapon System Guides Standard Missile to Target Intercept
KAUAI, HAWAII, 11-DEC-03 --
The Lockheed Martin-developed Aegis Weapon System successfully intercepted a ballistic missile target outside the earth's atmosphere during its descent phase of flight today. The Aegis Weapon System, aboard the guided missile cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG 70), and range sensors confirmed a direct hit of the missile target by a Raytheon-developed Standard Missile (SM)-3 over the Pacific Ocean.
In addition to USS Lake Erie, the guided missile destroyer USS Russell (DDG 59) also participated in today's test. USS Russell provided target track information to the USS Lake Erie and components of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense element.
This test, Flight Mission (FM)-6, marks the fourth time that the Aegis Weapon System successfully guided its Standard Missile-3 to a ballistic missile target. The test was sponsored by the Missile Defense Agency.
This test was another critical step in the United States' ongoing ballistic missile defense efforts, said Fred Moosally, president of Lockheed Martin's Maritime Systems & Sensors business. Destroying a threat missile is an important milestone, and once again the proven surveillance, tracking and fire control capability of the Aegis Weapon System has met the challenge.
FM-6 is another step toward President George W. Bush's goal of deploying a set of missile defense capabilities in 2004. The sea-based component is an element of the overall Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) and is intended to provide protection against medium- to long-range ballistic missiles for joint forces, seaports, inland airfields, vital political and military assets and population centers.
The Aegis Weapon System is the world's premier naval surface defense system and a primary component of the sea-based element of the United States' BMDS. The Aegis Weapon System seamlessly integrates the SPY-1 radar, the Lockheed Martin-developed MK 41 Vertical Launching System and the SM-3 missile with its own command and control system. It is capable of simultaneous operation defending against advanced air, surface, subsurface and ballistic missile threats.
Aegis is currently deployed on 67 U.S. Navy cruisers and destroyers on station around the globe, and at least 22 more ships are currently planned. Aegis is the primary weapon system on the Japanese Kongo-class destroyers, it is part of two European ship construction programs - the Spanish F-100 and the Norwegian New Frigate - and the Republic of Korea has recently selected Aegis for its newest class of destroyers.
Lockheed Martin is a world leader in systems integration and the development of air and missile defense systems and technologies including the first operational hit-to-kill missile defense system, PAC-3. It also has considerable experience in interceptor systems, kill vehicles, battle management command, control and communications, precision pointing and tracking optics, as well as radar and other sensors that enable signal processing and data fusion. The company makes significant contributions to all 10 major U.S. Missile Defense Systems and participates in several global missile defense partnerships.