|Mobility||Ship-based and highly mobile|
|Targets||Short-, medium-, and intermediate-range ballistic missiles|
|Role||Sea-based variant of the Aegis BMD designed to provide both regional and homeland missile defense and surveillance|
|Radar||AN/SPY-1 radar Passive Phased Array 4 Panel Radar integrated with the Aegis Weapon System
AN/SPY-6 Active Solid State Phased Array 4 Panel Radar to be introduced with Aegis DDG FLT III ships
|Interceptors||Standard Missile-2 (SM-2)–approx. 75-100 km range
Standard Missile-3 (SM-3)–approx. 700 km (Block IA/IB) and approx. 1,500 km (Block IIA)
Standard Missile-6 (SM-6)–approx. 240-370 km
|Status||Deployed in U.S. fleets in the Pacific and Atlantic; U.S. has 53 operational ships and is planned to be raised to 60 by the end of fiscal year 2023.
Japan has eight operational BMD capable ships. The Japanese sea-base BMD capability is comprised of four KONGO Class, two ATAGO Class, and two MAYA Class Destroyers.
|Producer||Lockheed Martin (Standard Missiles produced by Raytheon)|
Read the Most Recent Aegis Report Here
Aegis Afloat is the sea-based component of the Missile Defense Agency’s Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS). Aegis BMD builds upon the Aegis Weapon System, Standard Missile, and Navy and joint forces’ Command, Control and Communication systems. The U.S. deploys Aegis BMD to provide a critical detection and surveillance contribution to US Homeland Defense. It is also a key engagement component in defense of US deployed forces and Allied regional defense. In recognition of its scalability and mobility, Aegis BMD/SM-3 system is a key element of the European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA). Aegis BMD operates in all fleets and all areas of operation around the globe, 24/7. It does two things: regional defense and homeland defense. For regional defense, its engagement capability can defeat short and intermediate range targets with the SM-3 and SM-6. It also consists of three Aegis Ashores. For homeland defense, long-range surveillance and track capability are used to detect and track ballistic missiles of all ranges (including ICBMs). The Aegis platform is one of the systems that the air and missile defense community has that can provide space domain awareness.
The sea-based component of Aegis BMD employs Aegis-equipped cruisers and destroyers to intercept short-, medium-, and intermediate-range ballistic missiles in the midcourse and terminal phases of flight. Aegis vessels are also able to identify, track, and intercept low-flying cruise missiles. In addition to shorter range threats, Aegis BMD is employed to identify and track long-range ballistic missiles that—once identified—can subsequently be engaged by the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system. Components of Aegis BMD include AN/SPY-6 radar to be fielded aboard Aegis vessels in 2023, the MK 41 Vertical Launching System, Command and Decision System, Global Command and Control System, Aegis Display System, and Standard Missile-2 (SM-2), Standard Missile-3 (SM-3), and Standard Missile-6 (SM-6) interceptors.[i]In addition to SPY-6 radar, Aegis BMD can also coordinate with the land-based Army/Navy Transportable Surveillance (AN/TPY-2) radar. As mandated by the EPAA, Aegis BMD has also been modified for use on land. Called Aegis Ashore, this land-based component of Aegis BMD is currently operationally deployed in Romania, with a corresponding test site in Kauai, Hawaii and plans to operationally deploy another system in Poland in 2023. Future capabilities of Aegis BMD include engagement of longer-range ballistic missiles, improving existing early intercept capability, enhancing terminal capability against short- and medium-range ballistic missiles, increased number of ships and missiles, and more maritime ally involvement.
Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense Interceptors
|Standard Missile-2 (SM-2 BLKIIIB)||air defense||Aircraft and anti-ship cruise missiles|
|Standard Missile-6 (SM-6)||Endo-atmospheric ballistic missile defense, air defense, and capable of striking land targets||Short-range ballistic missiles and cruise missiles|
|Standard Missile-3 (SM-3)||Exoatmospheric kinetic ballistic missile defense||Short- to intermediate-range ballistic missiles|
Aegis Air Defense Interceptors
|Standard Missile-2 (SM-2 BLKIIIB)||Cruise missiles; aircraft; unmanned aerial vehicles|
|Standard Missile-6 (SM-6)||Cruise missiles; aircraft; unmanned aerial vehicles; Short Range Ballistic Missiles in Endo-atmospheric terminal phase|
|Sea Sparrow Missile||High-Speed, Low-Altitude Anti-Ship Cruise Missiles; Helicopters; UAS; other low-velocity air-threats|
|Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM)||High-Speed, Low-Altitude Anti-Ship Cruise Missiles; Helicopters; UAS; other low-velocity air-threats; High-Speed Maneuverable Surface Threats|
Software – Aegis BMD systems are programmed with highly sophisticated software to help identify, track, target, and intercept missile threats. This advanced software has resulted in a very successful test record—85% intercept success rate—and has established Aegis BMD as one of the most successful missile defense systems employed by the United States. Over time, Aegis BMD software has been incrementally modernized and improved. Software version 3.6 is the earliest form of Aegis BMD software that is still employed and is used by 12 deployed Aegis vessels. Aegis BMD 3.6 configuration allowed for Long Range Surveillance and Track (LRS&T) of ICBMs and intercept—using SM-3 Block IA interceptors—of short- to intermediate-range ballistic missiles in the midcourse and terminal phases. Aegis BMD 4.0 is the second generation of Aegis BMD software and—in accordance with the SM-3 Block IB—allows for the engagement of increasingly longer range and more sophisticated ballistic missiles. 11 deployed Aegis BMD vessels are equipped with the 4.0 software.
Aegis BMD 5.1 is the most modern software upgrade and increases the sea-based BMD force structure. The capability of Aegis BMD 5.1 was improved significantly by software upgrade Baseline 9, which integrates Aegis BMD vessels with other missile defense sensors and systems and allows them to engage cruise and ballistic missiles simultaneously. Baseline 9 was first tested in November 2014, when the guided-missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53) successfully intercepted a short-range ballistic missile and two cruise missiles. Around 11 deployed Aegis BMD vessels are equipped with upgraded Aegis 5.0 Baseline 9 software. The Aegis BMD 5.1 was certified by the U.S. Navy in September 2018 and will integrate the SM-3 Block IIA interceptor into the combat system to defeat longer-range ballistic missiles and allow the capability to engage on remote.
Regional Defense –Aegis BMD Engagement Capability – Aegis BMD defeats short- to intermediate-range, unitary and separating, midcourse-phase, ballistic missile threats with the Standard Missile-3 (SM-3), as well as short-range ballistic missiles in the terminal phase with the SM-2. Fleet warships conduct flight tests for Aegis BMD and each test increases the operational realism and complexity of targets and scenarios. Aegis BMD-capable vessels are deployed to Europe, Asia, and the Middle East to provide regional missile defense. In Europe, the sea-based Aegis BMD and the land-based Aegis Ashore provide regional missile defense as mandated by the EPAA. Phase I of the EPAA called for deployment of Aegis BMD ships and land-based radar in Europe by the end of 2011. The first phase mandated that four Aegis ships be anchored in Rota, Spain. From there, these vessels deploy throughout the Mediterranean and Persian Gulf to protect southern Europe from ballistic missile attacks coming out of the Middle East. Phase II (2016) and III (planned now with Aegis Ashore Poland’s activation in 2023) of the EPAA mandate interceptor improvements for Aegis-capable ships in Europe and the development of Aegis Ashore sites in Romania and Poland.
Homeland Defense – Aegis BMD Long Range Surveillance and Track – Aegis BMD ships patrol, detect, and track ballistic missiles of all ranges – including intercontinental ballistic missiles—and report tracking data to the missile defense system. This capability shares tracking data to cue other missile defense sensors and provides fire control data to Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) interceptors located at Fort Greely, Alaska and Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. Tracking data is also provided to other elements of the BMDS including land-based firing units—Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, Patriot (PAC-3)—and other Navy BMD ships. Recent live fire testing via FTM-44 proves Aegis Ships with BMD 5.1 (Baseline 9) equipped with SM3BLKIIA is capable of engaging Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBM) threats.
International cooperation –Aegis BMD is the first missile defense capability produced by the MDA to be purchased by a military ally, Japan, which currently deploys seven Aegis BMD capable destroyers and the eighth currently under construction. Japan’s Aegis BMD ships are four KONGO Class, two ATAGO Class, and two MAYA Class Destroyers. The four KONGO Class Destroyers operate Aegis BMD Baseline 5 that can launch SM-3 Block IA for BMD and SM-2 for air defense. The two ATAGO Class Destroyers operate Aegis BMD Baseline 9 that can launch SM-3 Block IB for BMD and SM-2 for air defense. The MAYA Class Destroyers operates Aegis BMD Baseline 9 that can launch the SM-3 Block IIA and SM-3 Block IB for BMD and the SM-2 for air defense. Both MAYA Class Destroyers are expected to receive the SM-6 for extended air defense in the near future.
In addition, Spain, South Korea, and Australia either operate, are building, or plan to build Aegis BMD ships.
Deployment – As of January 2023, there are 53 deployed Aegis BMD combatants (2 cruisers [CGs] and 51 destroyers [DDGs]) in the U.S. Navy. In response to the increasing demand for Aegis BMD capability from the Combatant Commanders, the MDA and Navy are working together to increase the number of Aegis BMD capable ships. Such efforts consist of upgrading Aegis DDGs to the BMD capability, incorporating Aegis BMD into the Aegis Modernization Program, and new construction of Aegis BMD DDGs. As mandated by the EPAA, Aegis BMD vessels have been deployed to Europe, the Mediterranean, and the Persian Gulf since 2011.[ii]
|CG-70||Lake Erie||4.0||2nd||San Diego, CA|
|DDG-113||John Finn||5.1 (Baseline 9)||4th||San Diego, CA|
|DDG-73||Decatur||4.0||2nd||San Diego, CA|
|DDG-76||Higgins||3.6||1st||San Diego, CA|
|DDG-59||Russell||3.6||1st||San Diego, CA|
|DDG-115||Rafael Peralta||5.0 (Baseline 9)||3rd||Yokosuka, Japan|
|DDG-60||Paul Hamilton||4.1||2nd||San Diego, CA|
|DDG-83||Howard||5.1 (Baseline 9)||4th||San Diego, CA|
|DDG-86||Shoup||5.1 (Baseline 9)||4th||San Diego CA|
|DDG-114||Ralph Johnson||5.1 (Baseline 9)||4th||Everett, Washington|
|DDG-53||John Paul Jones||5.1 (Baseline 9)||4th||Pearl Harbor, HI|
|DDG-77||O’Kane||3.6||1st||San Diego, CA|
|CG-73||Port Royal||3.6||1st||Pearl Harbor, HI|
|DDG-70||Hopper||3.6||1st||Pearl Harbor, HI|
|DDG-69||Milius||5.0 (Baseline 9 )||3rd||Yokosuka, Japan|
|DDG-65||Benfold||5.1 (Baseline 9)||4th||Yokosuka, Japan|
|DDG-63||Stethem||3.6||1st||San Diego, CA|
|DDG-52||Barry||5.0 (Baseline 9)||3rd||Yokosuka, Japan|
|DDG-54||Curtis Wilbur||4.1||2nd||Yokosuka, Japan|
|DDG-56||John S. McCain||4.1||2nd||Yokosuka, Japan|
|DDG-62||Fitzgerald||5.1 (Baseline 9)||4th||San Diego, CA|
|DDG-118||Daniel Inouye||5.1 (Baseline 9)||4th||Pearl Harbor, HI|
|DDG-61||Ramage||5.0 (Baseline 9)||3rd||Norfolk, VA|
|DDG-51||Arleigh Burke||5.1 (Baseline 9)||4th||Norfolk, VA|
|DDG-57||Mitscher||5.1 (Baseline 9)||4th||Norfolk, VA|
|DDG-79||Oscar Austin||5.1 (Baseline 9)||4th||Norfolk, VA|
|DDG-84||Bulkeley||5.1 (Baseline 9)||4th||Norfolk, VA|
|DDG-68||The Sullivans||3.6||1st||Mayport, FL|
|DDG-75||Donald Cook||4.1||2nd||Rota, Spain|
|DDG-116||Thomas Hudner||5.1 (Baseline 9)||4th||Mayport, FL|
|DDG-80||Roosevelt||5.1 (Baseline 9)||4th||Rota, Spain|
|DDG-117||Paul Ignatius||5.1 (Baseline 9)||4th||Mayport, FL|
|DDG-119||Delbert D Black||5.1 (Baseline 9)||4th||Mayport, FL|
Europe – The developing ballistic missile programs of nations like Iran pose a threat to the European allies of the United States. To counter this emerging threat, the Obama Administration announced the EPAA, which called for an improved missile defense capability in Europe to counter any short- to intermediate-range ballistic missile threats coming from the Middle East. The EPAA mandates the deployment of sea- and land-based Aegis BMD systems to protect Europe from ballistic missile attack and assures our European allies of U.S. commitment to their security. This commitment is becoming increasingly important as nations like Iran continue to improve their ballistic missile capabilities and develop weapons that can strike U.S. partners and allies in Europe.
Asia – The nuclear and ballistic missile capabilities of North Korea and China pose a threat to U.S. allies in the Asia-Pacific region. U.S. allies most threatened are South Korea and Japan. To strengthen cooperation with these allies and appease their security concerns, the U.S. has deployed seven Aegis-capable vessels to Japan and three to Hawaii, with an additional ten in San Diego. These Aegis BMD vessels not only defend against a potential ballistic missile attack, but also strengthen the deterrence capability of U.S. allies in the region. Japan’s eight Destroyers also bolster the deterrence capabilities of U.S. allies in Asia. The recent successful live fire event in FTM-44 proves the Aegis Weapon System with SM3BLKIIA can add to homeland defense of the US against DPRK threats.
November 21, 2022: The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) and the United States Missile Defense Agency (MDA) announce the successful completion of a two-week missile defense event incorporating two live fire exercises. The event, designated Japan Flight Test Mission–07 (JFTM–07) was held in cooperation with the U.S. Navy. The first live fire event demonstrated a successful engagement of a Standard Missile 3 (SM–3) Block IIA fired from the JS Maya (DDG 179) against a medium range ballistic missile T4-E target. The JS Maya tracked and fired on the target successfully destroying it over the Pacific Ocean. This is the first time a Japanese Maya-class destroyer has fired a SM–3. The second live fire exercise demonstrated a successful integrated air and missile defense scenario using SM–3 Blk IB and a SM–2 Blk IIIB missiles fired from the JS Haguro (DDG-180) against a short range ballistic missile (SRBM) target and an Anti-Air Warfare engagement against a BQM-177.
August 10, 2022: On August 10, 2022, the Missile Defense Agency (MDA), U.S. Navy Aegis Technical Representative, and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force witnessed another successful demonstration of the J7.B software build in support of the Japanese ASEV program. This demonstration known as ASEV Software Release 3, allows Japan to field J7.B software and the SPY-7(V)1 radar onboard a sea-based ASEV platform to provide ballistic missile defense (BMD) of the Japanese homeland.
August 26, 2021: The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and U.S. Navy Aegis Technical Representative (TECHREP) witnessed a successful Mid-Release 2 Demonstration of the software release for the Japanese J7.B Aegis Weapon System equipped with SPY-7 radar, in Moorestown, New Jersey. Japan will field J7.B onboard an afloat Aegis System-Equipped Vessel (ASEV) to provide ballistic missile defense (BMD). The demonstration showed Aegis Baseline J7.B with SPY-7 has the capability to perform engagements against ballistic missiles with the U.S.-Japan jointly-developed SM-3 Block IIA. During this demonstration of critical fire-control functions, Aegis Baseline J7.B fully supported the SM-3 Block IIA, including missile acquisition, missile guidance commands, and two-way missile communications simultaneously with SPY-7 BMD radar operations.
June 21,2021: The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) recently achieved critical installation milestones of the Aegis Weapon System at its Redzikowo, Poland, facility whose design and construction efforts are being accomplished in close partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). In March, the Aegis Weapon System completed primary ballistic missile defense integrated functional testing at its Redzikowo, Poland. Following in May, four fixed SPY-1D(V) radar arrays and one Fire Control System (FCS) illuminator were lifted into place. These accomplishments continue to illustrate the United States’ commitment to employ Aegis Ashore in Poland to provide Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) to Europe.
November 16, 2020: FTM-44 Live Fire Testing proved Aegis Baseline 9/BMD 5.1 with SM3BLKIIA can successfully engage Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) when USS John Finn (DDG-113) successfully engaged a threat realistic ICBM target in the Pacific Missile Range. This capability provides confirmation of the capability as an option to improve the layered defense of the United States and its allies. This version of the Aegis Weapon System is slated for Aegis Ashore Poland.
October 9, 2020: AN/SP-6 Solid State Array delivered and installed at the Aegis Combat Systems Engineering Site (CSEDS) in Moorestown NJ to begin integration testing with the Aegis BL 10 version of the Aegis Weapon System. Land based integration is a critical step before delivering the new solid state radar to the shipyard for installation in lead DDG-51 FLT III destroyer USS Jack Lucas (DDG-124)
September 26, 2020: USS Delbert D Black (DDG-119) Commissioned at Cape Canaveral FL. Joins the fleet as a 4th Generation BMD capable Destroyer.
July 20, 2020: The US Navy took delivery on the first AN/SPY-6 Solid State Radar. It will be installed on DDG51 Flight III Destroyers. It is 30 times more sensitive than the current AN/SPY 1 radars in DDG 51 Flights I/II/IIA ships. It will be installed in USS JACK LUCAS (DDG-124) under construction at Ingalls Shipyard in Mississippi. The ship will join the fleet in 2024.
June 13, 2020: USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) departed Ingalls Shipyard Pascagoula MS after a 2.5 year overhaul and repair after suffering a collision at sea off the coast of Japan. She was also modernized with the latest version of the Aegis Weapon System Baseline 9 with BMD 5.1 during the repair effort. She returns to the fleet as one of the most capable BMD ships in the Pacific Fleet.
March 21, 2020: USS Roosevelt (DDG 80) departed Mayport FL for a homeport change to Rota Spain. She is the lead Aegis Baseline 9 Integrated Air and Missile Defense ship assigned to the European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA) as part of the Phase III enhancements supporting the deployment of the SM3BLKIIA missile. She replaces USS Carney (DDG 64) who had an early version of Aegis BMD.
March 11, 2020: High Energy Laser with Integrated Optical-dazzler and Surveillance (HELIOS) system achieved Critical Design Review (CDR) Milestone clearing the way to begin Aegis Weapon System (AWS) integration at Moorestown NJ. This year, HELIOS will undergo system integration in Moorestown, New Jersey—the home of Aegis Combat System development for 50 years. The HELIOS system will then be tested at the Wallops Island Navy land-based test site which will significantly reduce program risk before being delivered to a shipyard for integration into an Arleigh Burke destroyer next year. In addition to being built into the ship’s structure, HELIOS will become an integrated component of the ship’s Aegis combat system.
July 29, 2019: USS Rafael Peralta (DDG 115) commissioned in San Diego CA. Third DDG constructed from the keel up with Aegis Baseline 9 Integrated Air and Missile Defense capability.
July 27, 2019: USS Paul Ignatius (DDG 117) commissioned in Fort Lauderdale Florida. She is the 67th Arleigh Burke Class Aegis Destroyer and the fifth DDG constructed from the keel up with Aegis Baseline 9 Integrated Air and Missile Defense capability.
January 17, 2019: 2019 MDR states that U.S. will raise its operational ships from 38 to 60 by the end of FY 2023
October 26, 2018: The USS John Finn (DDG 113) successfully intercepted a medium-range ballistic missile using an SM-3 Block IIA interceptor.
October 15, 2017: During the 2017 Formidable Shield Exercise, the U.S. guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook successfully detected, tracked and intercepted a medium-range ballistic missile target with a Standard Missile-3 Block IB guided missile.
October 7, 2017: The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Mitscher (DDG 57) fired Standard Missiles-2 at the incoming Mirach and Firejet anti-ship cruise missiles as part of a no-notice launch of anti-ship cruise missiles in the IAMD exercise scenario.
August 29, 2017: This test marked the second time the SM-6 Dual 1 intercepted a complicated medium range ballistic missile target and was the third successful test of the SM-6. This also marked the seventh successful test of the Aegis Baseline 9.0 software.
June 22, 2017: The USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53) unsuccessfully conducted an intercept test using the SM-3 Block IIA interceptor, which is cooperatively developed by the United States and Japan. A medium-range ballistic missile target was launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility at Kauai, Hawaii. The USS John Paul Jones detected and tracked the missile target with its onboard AN/SPY-1 radar and Aegis Baseline 9 C2 weapon system. The ship launched an SM-3 Block IIA missile, but the missile did not intercept the target.
June 2, 2017: The U.S. Navy commissioned the USS John Finn (DDG 113) built by Ingalls Shipbuilding. The USS John Finn is an Arleigh-Burke class guided missile destroyer, equipped with Baseline 9 software, enabling the vessel to conduct integrated air and missile defense missions. The USS John Finn is fitted with Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense version 5.0 software and Naval Integrated Fire Control-Counter Air (NIFC-CA). The ship is scheduled to join the U.S. 3rd fleet and U.S. Naval Surface Forces.
February 3, 2017: The USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53) successfully conducted an intercept test using the SM-3 Block IIA interceptor, which is cooperatively developed by the United States and Japan. The test, which occurred in the Pacific Ocean near Hawaii, marked the first successful intercept test using the SM-3 Block IIA. Intercepted during the test was a medium-range ballistic missile target, which fired from the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii.
August 2016: Aegis fleet in the U.S., Japan, and the Republic of Korea are bringing Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) capabilities to new Destroyers. The ships will be equipped with the latest Aegis system, Baseline 9, which is capable of IAMD. Japan will add two more Aegis capable ships to their fleet. South Korea will add 3 KDX-III Destroyers equipped with Aegis.
May 2016: The USS JOHN PAUL JONES used Aegis Baseline 9 terminal engagement capability to detect and track a medium range ballistic missile (MRBM) target. This exercise marked the first demonstration of Aegis’s ability to conduct a complicated tracking exercise against a MRBM during its endo phase of flight.
December 2015: The Japan Ministry of Defense (MOD) Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Agency (ATLA), and the MDA—in cooperation with the U.S. Navy—successfully conducted an SM-3 Block IIA flight Test from Point Mugu Sea Range, San Nicolas Island, California. The missile successfully demonstrated flyout through kinetic warhead ejection. No intercept was planned and no target missile was launched.
November 2015: The MDA, BMDS Operational Test Agency, Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense, U.S. European Command, and the U.S. Pacific Command conducted a complex operational flight test of the Ballistic Missile Defense System, demonstrating a layered defense architecture. The test stressed the ability of Aegis BMD and Terminal High Altitutde Area Defense (THAAD) weapon systems to negate two ballistic missiles threats while Aegis BMD simultaneously conducted an anti-air warfare operation.
October 2015: The U.S. Navy and eight other countries successfully conducted a detect-to-engage integrated air and missile defense exercise in the North Sea, during which the coalition simultaneously intercepted a ballistic missile in space and an anti-ship cruise missile target. This was the first missile defense test of its kind in Europe.
August 2015: The MDA, U.S. Pacific Command, and U.S. Navy successfully conducted a series of four flight test events at Kauai, Hawaii demonstrating successful intercepts of short-range ballistic missiles and cruise missiles with SM-6 Dual I and SM-2 Block IV interceptors. This was the first live fire event of the SM-6 Dual I missile.
June 2015: The U.S. and Japan announced the successful completion of a SM-3 Block IIA flight test from the Point Mugu Sea Range, San Nicolas Island, California. This was the first flight test of the SM-3 Block IIA, which is an interceptor variant designed to intercept medium- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles. Deployment of the SM-3 Block IIA is scheduled to begin in 2018.
July 2013: FTG-07 used Aegis BMD to identify and track a ballistic missile target that was intercepted by the GMD system. The Ground-Based Interceptor was fired based on tracking data supplied by the USS LAKE ERIE (CG 70), the first use of an Aegis BMD ship as a launch-on-sensor in a Ground-based Midcourse Defense test.[iii]
May 2012: Flight Test Mission 16 Event 2a was conducted. This flight test was the first successful live fire intercept test of the second generation Aegis BMD Weapon System, BMD 4.0.1, and the SM-3 Block IB missile. In May 2012, the USS LAKE ERIE (CG 70) successfully intercepted a short-range ballistic missile target over the Pacific Ocean. Aegis BMD 4.0.1 and the SM-3 Block IB missile enable the engagement of increasingly longer range and more sophisticated ballistic missiles. This was Aegis BMD’s 22nd successful intercept out of 27 missile firings against various targets.[iv]
October 2011: The U.S., Spain, and NATO jointly announced that the U.S. would forward-deploy four Aegis-capable ships to Rota, Spain as part of the EPAA. These Aegis ships anchored in Rota, Spain deploy throughout the Mediterranean to protect southern Europe against short- and medium-range ballistic missiles coming out of the Middle East.
April 2011: The MDA, U.S. Navy, and U.S. Army conducted a successful intercept of an intermediate-range ballistic missile using an SM-3 Block IA interceptor over the Pacific Ocean. Aegis BMD launched an SM-3 Block IA missile using track data from the AN/TPY-2 radar that was passed through the Command and Control Battle Management and Communication system to intercept an IRBM target to demonstrate the EPAA Phase 1 capability. This firing was the first Launch on Remote (LOR) Aegis BMD engagement and intercept of an IRBM. The firing was also outside the original design specifications for the SM-3 Block IA missile.[v]
March 2011: During Flight Test Mission 16, Event 1, the USS LAKE ERIE successfully tracked a ballistic missile target. In addition to the BMD mission, the LAKE ERIE also validated the ship’s Anti-Air Warfare (AAW) capability by destroying an incoming anti-ship cruise missile target with an SM-2 Block III missile in a live firing exercise. This was the first event in which a ship used BMD 4.0.1 Weapon System to engage an AAW threat.[vi]
October 2009: During FTX-06 Events 1 through 4, the guided missile Aegis cruiser USS LAKE ERIE (CG 70), upgraded with the BMD 4.0.1 Weapon System, successfully detected, tracked, and conducted simulated SM-3 Block IB engagements against a variety of different ballistic missile targets during a series of tracking exercises. The targets ranged from simple separating medium-range missiles to sophisticated, separating short-range missiles designed to confuse missile defense systems. All test objectives were met. Also, Japan Flight Test Mission (JFTM) 3 took place, during which the USS LAKE ERIE tracked separating ballistic missile targets with the second generation Aegis BMD Weapon System, BMD 4.0.1. In October 2010, JFTM 4 was carried out and conducted a test similar to JFTM 3.[vii]
September 2009: Obama announced the EPAA, canceling a Bush Administration plan to place a third Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system in Poland. The EPAA focused on short- to intermediate-range threats originating from the Middle East and called for sea- and land-based Aegis BMD systems to be deployed incrementally throughout Europe from 2011 to 2018.
February 2008: A BMD-capable Aegis cruiser deployed northwest of Hawaii shot down an inoperable U.S. surveillance satellite that was in a deteriorating orbit.[viii]
December 2007: In a flight test, a BMD-capable Japanese Aegis destroyer used an SM-3 Block IA missile to successfully intercept a ballistic missile target off the coast of Hawaii. This was the first time that a non-U.S. ship had intercepted a ballistic missile using the Aegis BMD system.
2005: In 2005, Aegis BMD’s role evolved to include an engagement capability. Aegis BMD ships armed with the SM-3 Block IA were capable of intercepting short- to intermediate-range ballistic missiles in the midcourse phase of flight. In 2006, Aegis BMD engagement capabilities were expanded to include the terminal intercept capability.
- During the NATO summit in Madrid on June 29, 2022, President Biden demonstrated his intent to remain committed to Europe’s deterrence. For this reason, the U.S. announced that two more U.S. destroyers will be stationed in Spain’s port city of Rota—adding to the four that are already stationed there.
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