Washington D.C. – November 6, 2014 – Today, off the coast of Kauai, Hawaii, the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Destroyer USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53), using a new Baseline 9 modernization processor, was able to successfully engage and defeat multiple incoming ballistic and cruise missiles at the same time.
Baseline 9 capability is being used for the U.S. Aegis Ashore site in Romania, and to upgrade the U.S. Navy’s fleet of Aegis BMD ships. This capability enables the ships to defend themselves against incoming cruise missiles while simultaneously tracking and defeating ballistic missiles threatening other areas. This ability negates the need for a BMD ship to have backup defenses or “shotgun” ships to provide it protection while providing ballistic missile defense. Baseline 9 Aegis BMD ships would free up the limited U.S. Navy Fleet ship resources around the world.
It would also provide Aegis Ashore sites the capability to defend themselves while still being able to defend large regions from ballistic missiles. The Baseline 9 is a much anticipated and valued system that permits a more efficient use of the Aegis weapon system to serve as an independent platform without having to rely on other outside defenses such as ships or air defense systems for protection while doing its mission.
An Aegis Ashore site with Baseline 9 is scheduled to be fully operational and deployed in Romania in the latter part of 2015. The site will be able to defend parts of Europe from ballistic missile attacks.
The ballistic missile engagement was the 29th hit-to-kill intercept of the SM-3 family of interceptors, and the 66th hit-to-kill intercept across all U.S. BMD systems since 2001.
This is a remarkable achievement that will provide exponentially greater integrated air and missile defense capability to the U.S. Navy and the regions of the world that it defends.