Press Release

Johns Hopkins APL Plays Key Role in Japan Missile Defense Flight Test Success

Mon, 04/24/2023 - 15:41

The Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland — in cooperation with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) — played a key role in live-fire intercept demonstrations of the Standard Missile-2 (SM-2) and SM-3 guided missiles during the campaign designated Japan Flight Test Aegis Weapon System-07 (JFTM-07). The event was held in cooperation with the U.S. Navy.

JFTM-07 Event 2 demonstrated a successful live-fire engagement of an SM-3 Block IIA fired from the JS Maya (DDG-179) against a medium-range ballistic missile target. The JS Maya tracked and fired on the target, successfully destroying it over the Pacific Ocean. This is the first time a Japanese Maya-class destroyer has fired an SM-3 interceptor.

JFTM-07 Event 4 demonstrated a successful integrated air and missile defense scenario with the JS Haguro (DDG-180) concurrently engaging a short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) target with a live SM-3 Block IB Threat Upgrade and an anti-air warfare engagement against a BQM-177 with a live SM-2 Block IIIB.

JFTM-07 is a significant milestone in the cooperation between Japan and the U.S. in the area of missile defense. JFTM-07’s goal was to support the JMSDF ballistic missile defense modernization and certification of the Japanese Aegis Weapon System Baseline J7 and Maya-class destroyer deployment. It also demonstrates the capability of the SM-3 Block IIA, which was cooperatively developed by Japan and the United States, to defeat medium- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles. The SM-3 Block IIA interceptor operates as part of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense system and can be launched from Aegis-equipped ships and Aegis Ashore sites.

The APL team was instrumental in the JFTM-07 event scenario definitions, modeling of the test targets, preflight weapon system performance assessment, flight test execution and postflight assessment of objectives. As the technical direction agent for the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense system, APL is integral in the full systems engineering life cycle, including testing of ballistic missile defense capability and transitioning it to U.S. and allied fleet forces.