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The United States of America demonstrated and displayed the full capability of an Aegis Ashore Site to track, acquire and shoot down an intermediate range missile representing an attack on southern Europe from Iran. The successful intercept of the upgraded SM-3 Block IB launched from the Aegis Ashore Site in Kauai, Hawaii last night marks the first intercept from the land-based Aegis Ashore system and validates the European Phased Adapted Approach (EPAA) to be deployed on schedule in Romania in 2016.

The test duplicated all of the EPAA Phase 2 U.S. missile defense systems in Europe, which includes the cueing from the AN/TPY-2 forward based radar in Turkey, the Aegis Ashore Site in Romania, the new upgraded SM-3 Block IB interceptor, and the C2BMC command and control out of NATO’s BMD AOC in Ramstien, Germany.

On November 21, Iran tested the Ghadr-110, a medium-range missile with a range of 1,200 miles from Chabahar, which violated two United Nations Security Council resolutions. Last night’s test replicated the Ghadr-110 with a two-stage target missile dropped out of a C-17, then launched over the Pacific, which was intercepted successfully by the upgraded SM-3 Block IB interceptor launched from the Aegis Ashore Site at the Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) with cueing from an AN/TPY-2 forward based radar in Hawaii.

This significant achievement proves out an upper tier defense against medium and intermediate-range ballistic missiles for NATO Europe by the United States of America. Two Aegis Ashore Sites will be fully operational and deployed in Europe, the first in Romania next year and the second in Poland in 2018 that will be outfitted with the new SM-3 Block IIA that achieved a successful test flight Tuesday morning off the coast of California. The new software upgrades for the SM-3 Block IB that will help to further enhance discrimination were proven successful and will be implemented on all future rounds for the United States Navy for Aegis BMD ships and for the inventory for Aegis Ashore Site in Romania.

At the same time, halfway across the world in Israel, their newest and furthest reaching interceptor, Arrow 3, successfully hit a target missile, validating their ability to defeat the Iranian Ghadr-110. The Israeli  Arrow 3 displays a new technology in its gimbal seeker and operates in space above the existing Arrow 2 and the upcoming David’s Sling missile defense systems produced by Israel. All three of these layered missile defense systems enable Israel to defend itself against ballistic missile threats and can relieve dedicated U.S. Aegis BMD Ships with SM-3 IB and IA interceptors for the upper tier defense of Israel.

Congratulations for the tremendous team engineering and team efforts on the coordination of a very complex and pivotal test validating President Obama’s defense of Europe by the Missile Defense Agency, the United States Navy and the industry team that supported them. This demonstration, which now enables EPAA Phase 2 to proceed, makes Europe and its people safer than it has ever been from ballistic missile threats.

Congratulations also goes to Israel and the Missile Defense Agency in its partnership on the Arrow 3, which will make Israel more self reliant and its people safer than they have ever been from ballistic missiles.

Timing and teamwork is everything. What a tremendous statement of resolve, collective demonstration and strategic messaging within minutes of each other across the world against a common threat.

Riki Ellison
Chairman and Founder
Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance

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MDAA’s mission is to make the world safer by advocating for the development and deployment of missile defense systems to defend the United States, its armed forces and its allies against missile threats.

MDAA is the only organization in existence whose primary mission is to educate the American public about missile defense issues and to recruit, organize, and mobilize proponents to advocate for the critical need of missile defense. We are a non-partisan membership-based and membership-funded organization that does not advocate on behalf of any specific system, technology, architecture or entity.