A United States historic first missile intercept took place early this morning ( Click here ) with the newest and most capable interceptor missile in the world today with Japan, our biggest contributing ally partner nation of over 1.5 billion in the investment of the interceptor and it becomes the first missile intercept under President Trump. This interceptor, the SM3 Block IIA, launched from the USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53) detected, tracked, provided a firing solution and intercepted all organically from the ship with its Aegis Baseline 9.C2 Weapon System, AN/SPY-1D(V) radar and SM3 Block IIA interceptor, a ballistic missile similar in range to both Iranian and North Korea missiles deployed today.
This demonstrated capability of the SM3 Block IIA interceptor this morning has over twice the range of the current SM3 Block IA and IB interceptors deployed today on 33 U.S. Aegis Ships, 4 Japanese Kongo Class Ships and 1 Aegis Ashore Site in Romania, has exponentially force multiplied their current capabilities and defended areas. Thereby enabling U.S. and Japanese ships to stand off coast lines at great distances near threat regions providing much more operating area to do multi missions rather than be tethered in single mission operations. This capability enables defense of more area with less ships by having earlier shot opportunities due to the increased speed and range of the interceptor there by enabling the Navy to defend more area worldwide. The SM3 Block IIA interceptor’s proof of success gives the majority of western Europe protection from Iran as its extended range from the current SM3 IBs deployed in the Aegis Ashore Site in Romania and the future 2018 Aegis Ashore Site in Poland gives the massive European population, a first-time defense against ballistic missiles. Further, the SM3 Block IIA can provide a much earlier shot opportunity and additional layer of missile defense as well as a much more capable sensor that can see longer and better providing advantage in discrimination over complex threats.
Because of this unique extended range capability, the United States and Japan will now have an underlay of strategic missile defense capability to defend their homelands which can provide additional layers of defense against ballistic missiles from their Aegis BMD capable ships and from Aegis Ashore Sites.
This success this morning is a historic testament to ally partnership sharing of cost and burden in development with Japan represents an outstanding example to all of the United States Allies. It is outstanding testament to the two countries’ government, engineering and industry teams to cross language and cultural barriers to bring forward a breakthrough technology and game changer for the defense of both of their countries and enabling a safer world.
Great appreciation and congratulations goes to the range operations at PMRF in Kauai, Hawaii, the crew of the USS John Paul Jones, the Missile Defense Agency led by VADM James Syring and to the Ministry of Defense for Japan.