Air Force Lt. Gen. Henry “Trey” Obering, director of the Missile Defense Agency, announced today that an interceptor missile launched from the U.S. Navy Aegis cruiser USS Lake Erie successfully intercepted and destroyed a short-range target missile launched from the Hawaiian island of Kauai. This is the fifth successful intercept in six tests.

This test marked the first use of an operationally configured Standard Missile 3 interceptor, and is designed to intercept and destroy short to medium range ballistic missiles. The Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense is an integral part of the Ballistic Missile Defense System now being developed, tested and fielded by the Missile Defense Agency as part of a “layered” missile defense designed to intercept and destroy ballistic missiles of all ranges—short, medium, intermediate and long-range—during any phase of their flight.

The target missile was launched from the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility at Barking Sands, Kauai at 11:03 a.m. Hawaii Standard Time (4:03 p.m. Eastern Standard Time). About one minute later the USS Lake Erie launched the Standard Missile 3 from its patrol area located more than 100 miles from Kauai, and the intercept was achieved about two minutes after the interceptor was launched.

The USS Lake Erie detected, then tracked the target and developed a fire control solution and launched the Standard Missile 3. The interceptor missile tracked successfully to put itself into the path of the incoming target missile, and collided directly with the missile using only the force of the collision to demonstrate “hit to kill” technology. This is the same technology used successfully in the development of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense system designed to intercept and destroy long-range missiles, and also used by the Patriot Advanced Capability 3 interceptor missile system developed by the Missile Defense Agency and now operational with the U.S. Army.

The USS Russell, a U.S. Navy Aegis destroyer, also participated and was configured with the Ballistic Missile Defense Signal Processor (BSP) 1.0 in support of Block 2006 risk reduction activities. BSP 1.0 provides a real-time S-Band radar discrimination capability through Medium Band and Synthetic Wide Band signal processing with improved target feature extraction and classification through the use of advanced algorithms, providing precision handover of the tracked object for increased probability of engagement success.

In an additional collateral test, the Standard Missile 3’s advanced two-color Infrared Seeker, carried in the Missile Defense Agency’s airborne sensor testbed aircraft, detected and tracked the target, collecting data to support a future upgrade to Standard Missile 3. Along with the BSP, this infrared seeker will provide Aegis Ballistic Missile defense and the Ballistic Missile Defense system with significant capability against advanced threats.

Extensive post-test data will be evaluated to determine system performance, validate operational capability and identify potential modifications to the system to improve performance.
The system’s Long Range Surveillance and Track capability now aboard the USS Lake Erie is essentially the same as that already installed on several Aegis destroyers attached to the U.S. Pacific Fleet.
The Aegis Weapon System, the basis for the sea-based element of the Ballistic Missile Defense System, is currently deployed on 68 U.S. Navy cruisers and destroyers, with 18 more ships currently planned.

Aegis is also the primary weapon system on the Japanese Kongo-class destroyers, and is part of two European ship construction programs — the Spanish F-100 and the Norwegian New Frigate. Also, the Republic of Korea is now building three Aegis-equipped destroyers, and Australia recently selected the Aegis Weapon System for its Air Warfare Destroyer program.

The Missile Defense Agency and the U.S. Navy cooperatively manage the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense Program. Lockheed Martin Maritime Systems and Sensors of Moorestown, New Jersey is the prime contractor for the Aegis Weapon System and Vertical Launch System installed in Aegis-equipped cruisers and destroyers. Raytheon Missile Systems of Tucson, Arizona is the prime contractor for the Standard Missile 3.

Contact: News media points of contact are Cheryl Irwin, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Public Affairs, at (703) 697-5331, Rick Lehner, Missile Defense Agency at (703) 697-8997 and Chris Taylor, Missile Defense Agency, (703) 697-8001, (703) 963-3484 (cell) or (808) 335-4740.

Photos are available at Navy Region Hawaii; Office of the Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs) website ( or MDALink ( Video is available at from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. EST on Digital uplink: AM03 (GE-3) TR-8 slot G, Data Rate 5.5 / 3/4 FEC / Symbol Rate 3.9787 / Downlink Freq. 11875.00 V Down. Analog uplink: AMC03 (GE-3) TR-8 C Downlink Freq. 11860.0 V Down Turnaround: CNN Newsbeam Atlanta 404-827-1094, Trouble Line: 678-313-6001