Press Release

Johns Hopkins APL Plays Key Role in Successful Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System Test

Mon, 06/08/2015 - 09:56

Researchers from the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland, played a key role in the successful completion of a Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IIA flight test in cooperation with the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and industry partners.

Conducted at the Point Mugu Sea Range, San Nicolas Island, California, the test was designated SM-3 Block IIA Cooperative Development Controlled Test Vehicle-01 (SCD CTV-01) and was the first live fire test of the SM-3 Block IIA guided missile. The missile successfully operated through all three propulsion stages to achieve exo-atmospheric flight and demonstrated nosecone deployment. No intercept was planned.

APL engineers and analysts worked closely with MDA and Raytheon Missile Systems to plan the complex test scenario and predict system performance. “This successful test flight demonstrated key performance elements of the SM-3 Block IIA system and provided valuable data to anchor our detailed engineering models and simulations of the missile,” said APL’s Vishal Giare, APL’s assistant program area manager for Aegis BMD.

Program officials will evaluate system performance based upon telemetry and other data obtained during the test to continue system engineering and verification of the SM-3 Block IIA design.

The SM-3 Block IIA is a 21-inch-diameter variant of the SM-3 missile to defeat longer range ballistic missiles. Aegis BMD is the naval component of the Ballistic Missile Defense System. The MDA and the U.S. Navy cooperatively manage the Aegis BMD program.

As the technical direction agent for Aegis BMD, the Applied Physics Laboratory is an integral part of the full systems engineering life cycle, including testing and transition of the BMD capability to the fleet. The Aegis system is developed by Lockheed Martin, Moorestown, New Jersey. The Standard Missile is developed by Raytheon Missile Systems, Tucson, Arizona.