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Successful sea-based missile defense intercept.

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Air Force Lt. Gen. Henry "Trey" Obering III, Missile Defense Agency (MDA) director, announced the successful completion of the latest flight test of the Sea-based Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD), conducted jOintly with the US Navy off the coast of Kauai, Hawaii.

The event marked the 14th overall successful intercept, in 16 attempts, for the Aegis BMD program and the second successful intercept of a terminal phase (last few seconds of flight) target by a modified Standard Missile-2 Block IV (SM-2 Blk IV) interceptor.

The mission was completed by the cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG 70), using the tactically-certified Aegis BMD shipboard weapon system, modified for a terminal capability, and the modified SM-2 Blk IV. This is the 35th successful terminal and midcourse defense intercept in 43 tests since 2001.

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Aegis BMD is the sea-based midcourse component of the MDA's Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) and is designed to intercept and destroy short- to intermediate-range ballistic missiles. In 2006, the program's role was expanded to include a sea-based terminal defense effort, using a modified version of the SM-2 Blk IV. Unlike other missile defense technologies, the SM-2 Blk IV does not use "hit to kill" technology (directly colliding with the target) to destroy the target missile. Rather, a blast fragmentation device explodes in direct proximity to the target to complete the intercept and destroy the target.

Last June, a short-range target was launched from a mobile launch platform 300 miles west of the Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF), Barking Sands, Kauai, Hawaii. Moments later, the USS Lake Erie's Aegis BMD Weapon System detected, tracked the target and developed fire control solutions.

Approximately four minutes later, the USS Lake Erie's crew fired two SM-2 Blk IV missiles, and two minutes later they successfully intercepted the target inside the earth's atmosphere, about 12 miles above the Pacific Ocean and about 100 miles west-northwest of Kauai.--Missile Defense Agency Public Affairs
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Title Annotation:VIEWS, NEWS AND REVIEWS
Publication:Guns Magazine
Date:Oct 1, 2008
Words:322
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