Three Ships Track Missile in Test of Aegis BMD System

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Three U.S. Navy ships equipped with the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) system simultaneously tracked the same target missile during an exercise off the Virginia coast Jan. 22, the service reported.

The short-range missile was launched from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on the Virginia coast and was successfully tracked by all three ships during the exercise, called Atlantic Trident 2011, the Navy said in a Jan. 24 press release. There was no intercept planned and the missile fell into the ocean, the service.

Two of the ships, the Aegis cruiser USS Monterey and the Aegis destroyer USS Ramage, alternated tracking and simulating engagements of the target, providing firing solutions that the Navy said would have resulted in a successful intercept. The other ship, the Aegis guided missile destroyer USS Gonzales, only tracked the target.

The Navy said this was the first live fleet BMD test to take place in the Atlantic.