November 7, 2007
Dual Ballistic Missile Targets Intercepted: APL's Technical Role Integral to Flight Test
Over the waters of the Kauai-based Pacific Missile Range Facility on Nov. 6, 2007, two ballistic missile targets were successfully intercepted by two Standard Missile-3s during the Missile Defense Agency's (MDA's) latest "hit-to-kill" intercept flight test conducted jointly with the U.S. Navy.
Designated as Flight Test Standard Missile-13 (FTM-13), the test marked the program's 10th and 11th successful intercepts for the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) program, a sea-based component of MDA's Ballistic Missile Defense System. Aegis BMD, cooperatively managed by MDA and the Navy, is designed to intercept and destroy short- to intermediate-range ballistic missile threats.
As Technical Direction Agent for the Aegis BMD program, APL performs a wide range of activities before, during, and after flight tests, including performing preflight predictions of the Aegis BMD combat system's performance, and defining mission and target scenarios. During a test, they evaluate real-time target performance assessments and evaluate missile telemetry data. Among its post-flight responsibilities, the APL team analyzes flight data and updates and validates radar and six-degree-of-freedom performance simulations.
APL representatives are among the leaders in the joint community for link communications systems connecting Aegis ships and other sea-, space-, and ground-based assets.
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A Standard Missile-3 (bottom image) was one of two interceptors fired from the USS Lake Erie during FTM-13 that collided with two ballistic missile targets (top image) launched from the Pacific Missile Range Test Facility. U.S. Navy photos