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December 21, 2016

APL Plays Key Role in Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System Intercept Flight Test


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A team of APL engineers, working with the Missile Defense Agency and Sailors aboard USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53), played a key role in the successful firing of two Standard Missile-6 Dual I missiles against a complex, medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM) target, demonstrating the Sea Based Terminal endo-atmospheric defensive capability during a flight test off the coast of Hawaii Dec. 14.

Missile
A team of APL engineers, working with the Missile Defense Agency and sailors aboard USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53), an Aegis baseline 9.C1 equipped destroyer, successfully fired a salvo of two SM-6 Dual I missiles against a complex medium-range ballistic missile target, demonstrating the Sea Based Terminal endo-atmospheric defensive capability and meeting the test’s primary objective.
Credit: MDA

This test, designated Flight Test Standard Missile-27 (FTM-27), was the first intercept test using an Aegis Baseline 9.C1 (BMD 5.0 CU) ship to engage an MRBM target missile with an SM-6. The SM-6 Dual I is a two-stage missile capable of defeating both cruise and ballistic missiles within the atmosphere. APL engineers led pre-mission planning and performance analysis to develop a scenario that would demonstrate the test objectives of the mission.

Just after midnight (Hawaii Standard Time) the target missile was launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai, Hawaii. Following the target launch, USS John Paul Jones detected and tracked the missile with its onboard AN/SPY-1 radar. The ship, equipped with the Aegis Weapon System, detected, tracked and intercepted the target.

“This test demonstrates key Sea-Based Terminal missile defense concepts developed by APL and integrated with our government-industry partners into the Aegis BMD and SM-6 Dual I system design,” said Vishal Giare, APL’s program area manager for Aegis BMD. “This is a critical BMD capability needed in our Fleet.”

As the technical direction agent for Aegis BMD, APL is an integral part of the full systems engineering life cycle, including testing and transition of the BMD capability to the Fleet.

Media contact: Gina Ellrich, 443-778-7796, gina.ellrich@jhuapl.edu

The Applied Physics Laboratory, a not-for-profit division of The Johns Hopkins University, meets critical national challenges through the innovative application of science and technology. For more information, visit www.jhuapl.edu.