MDA Tests Aegis BMD Weapon System

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The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and Sailors aboard the USS CARNEY (DDG-64), USS GONZALEZ (DDG-66) and USS BARRY (DDG-52) successfully completed a flight test yesterday involving the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) weapon system.

At approximately 2:30 a.m. EST, three short-range ballistic missile targets were launched near-simultaneously from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, Virginia. Two Aegis BMD destroyers acquired and tracked the targets, while another destroyer participated in associated operations. Using this data, the Aegis BMD ships conducted simulated Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IB guided missile engagements with the Distributed Weighted Engagement Scheme (DWES) capability enabled.

The DWES provides an automated engagement coordination scheme between multiple Aegis BMD ships that determines which ship is the preferred shooter, reducing duplication of BMD engagements and missile expenditures while ensuring BMD threat coverage. Several fire control, discrimination, and engagement functions were exercised. Since no SM-3 guided missiles were launched, the test did not include an attempted intercept.

This test was designated Flight Test Other (FTX)-19. This was the first flight test to assess the ability of the Aegis BMD 4.0 weapon system to simulate engagements of a raid consisting of three short-range, separating ballistic missile targets. This was also the first time Aegis BMD 4.0 ships used the DWES capability with live targets.

Aegis BMD is the naval component of the MDA’s Ballistic Missile Defense System. The MDA and the U.S. Navy cooperatively manage the Aegis BMD program.

Image: MDA

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