The test of the newest technology for missile defence system ended with success.
On Wednesday morning off of San Nicolas Island off the coast of California, the United States and Japan successfully tested the newest missile interceptor in the world. The test opened the SM-3 Block IIA interceptor’s new sensor seeker in space for the first time, positioned the kill vehicle with its new divert and altitude control rockets on a selected star, and proved out an initial discrimination capability.
It is a significant accomplishment as with this success the SM-3 Block IIA moves forward toward three intercept tests over the next three years before its deployment on U.S. Baseline 9 Aegis BMD Ships and in the U.S. Aegis Ashore Site in Poland in 2018.
The SM-3 Block IIA interceptor expands the range of and provides better discrimination than the current SM-3 Block IBs, thereby enabling earlier intercepts and an additional layer of defense.
Coupled with the Baseline 9 operating system, the SM-3 Block IIA can launch and engage based on remote sensors from other Aegis BMD Ships and forward land-based radars such as the two deployed AN/TPY-2 radars in Japan today.
When deployed, this new interceptor will greatly enhance the U.S. 7th Fleet and Japanese capability to defend Japan and become the core interceptor for the defense of Europe in the Aegis Ashore site in Poland.
Iran’s continued testing of medium-range ballistic missiles clearly illustrates the need for this advanced capability in Europe.