The US Navy & the US Missile Defence Agency (MDA) have conducted a successful shoot-down test against an intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) target in space.
The test is the third success in a series of five tests so far which saw a Raytheon SM-3 Block IIA missile fired from the Aegis Ashore Missile Defense Test Complex on the Hawaiian island of Kauai hit the IRBM target after being locked on from a remote unspecified ‘non-native’ sensor which was relaying data to the Aegis Ashore combat system.
Interestingly, in a release the MDA said the IRBM target was launched from the cargo bay of a USAF C-17 Globemaster III in flight “thousands of miles southwest of the Aegis Ashore test site.”
“The engagement leveraged a ground, air and space-based sensor/command and control architecture linked by the Ballistic Missile Defense System’s Command and Control, Battle Management, and Communications (C2BMC) suite,” it added.
The SM-3 Block IIA missile is being developed jointly by the US and Japan, and is expected to equip US Aegis Ashore stations in Romania and Poland and future Aegis Ashore stations in Japan.