The Missile Defense Agency intercepted two medium-range ballistic missile targets during a missile defense flight test near the U.S. Army’s Kwajalein Atoll/Reagan Test Site and surrounding areas in the western Pacific.
MDA sought to evaluate how the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense and Terminal High Altitude Area Defense weapon systems function in a layered defense architecture and engaged the two near-simultaneous ballistic missile targets, the Defense Department said Tuesday.
Army soldiers from the Alpha Battery, 2nd Air Defense Artillery Regiment; Navy sailors aboard guided missile destroyer USS Decatur; and Air Force personnel from the 613th Air and Operations Center participated in the test.
During the first exercise, the USS Decatur used its Aegis Weapon System to detect and track the first target with an AN/SPY-1 radar, while the Aegis BMD system launched a Standard Missile-3 Block IA missile to intercept the target.
A second exercise had a THAAD system launch an SM-3 interceptor missile at the other target and put a second AN/TPY-2 radar in terminal mode, seeking to test how the Aegis BMD system works in layered defense situations.
Another THAAD interceptor launched toward the target during that exercise as a contingency in case SM-3 did not intercept the target, the Pentagon said.