Guidance Systems Evaluation Laboratory

Air and Missile Defense

World-class expertise in protecting the nation and our allies from air and missile threats

Johns Hopkins APL has been instrumental in developing advanced capabilities to defend our forces and allies against aircraft and missile threats. Our world-class expertise in air and missile defense began to take shape with the development of the radio proximity fuze in World War II. Since then, we have continued to respond to emerging and evolving threats through innovative, effective, and affordable air and missile defense solutions. We apply our expertise to make current systems more effective, and we have adapted several technologies for new missions and developed novel technologies for future implementation.

Related Projects

Golden Horde

Golden Horde

Achieving networked, collaborative offensive weapons systems that will learn from their environment and autonomously work together to defeat integrated air and missile defenses.
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Artist's rendering of the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent (Credit: (U.S. Air Force)

Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent

APL has a significant evaluation role in the Air Force program to replace the aging Minuteman III system.
Learn more about Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent
APL FSO operators check the monitors on Sea Hunter as a third operator monitors operations.

Optical Communications at Sea

We successfully demonstrated a high-bandwidth free-space optical (FSO) communications system between two moving ships, proving operational utility of FSO technology in the maritime environment.
Learn more about Optical Communications at Sea
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)

Standard Missile-3: The Next Generation

APL led key “end-to-end” system-level performance analysis in collaboration with the government–industry team for the SM-3 Block IIA missile, cooperatively developed by the United States and Japan.
Learn more about Standard Missile-3: The Next Generation
September 18, 2013: An SM-3 Block 1B interceptor is launched from the USS Lake Erie during an MDA test and successfully intercepted a complex short-range ballistic missile target off the coast of Kauai, Hawaii. (Credit: MDA)

Test Target Prototyping

A cross-APL team of engineers, working with the Missile Defense Agency’s (MDA) Target and Countermeasures Directorate and other government and industry partners, develops cost-effective solutions for MDA to support live-fire testing of interceptors, sensors, and fire control systems.
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Radar screen (Credit: Bigstock)

Testing Air and Missile Defense Radar

APL teamed with industry and the Above Water Sensors Directorate of Program Executive Office Integrated Warfare Systems on two successful tests of the AN/SPY-6(V), a wideband digital beam-forming sensor known as the Air and Missile Defense Radar.
Learn more about Testing Air and Missile Defense Radar

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