New Missile Defense Test Site Planned in Hawaii

Media Release:

The United States is expected in 2013 to begin work on a new testing and training installation in Hawaii for a land-based variant of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense system, Aviation Week reported (see GSN, Jan. 25).

“There will be an Aegis Ashore facility in Hawaii,” said James Sheridan, U.S. Navy Aegis programs director for defense contractor Lockheed Martin. The Obama administration plans to adapt the ship-based Aegis missile interceptor system for deployment on land, in part to help safeguard U.S. and NATO forces in Europe from medium- and short-range ballistic missile strikes, according to a previous report.

The Navy wants to tap Aegis system features for following potential air-based threats to also hone in on enemy ballistic missiles, Lockheed Martin Maritime BMD Programs Vice President Lisa Callahan said. The Navy and the Defense Department’s Missile Defense Agency intend to assign certain Aegis warships to shoot down potential enemy missiles after their boost phase of flight.

“The Navy has embraced ballistic missile defense,” Callahan said. “The focus is on integrating air and missile defense.”

The planned test site would support work to vet and improve Aegis defenses while Lockheed Martin pursues enhancements to the technology’s ship-protection features, she added.

“We are keeping pace with the threats,” Callahan said, “which are becoming more and more complex” (Michael Fabey, Aviation Week, Feb. 10).

Video of Yesterdays Missile Test Off Kauai

JS Myoko, Japan’s third destroyer equipped with Lockheed Martin’s Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) system, successfully intercepted and destroyed a ballistic missile target above the atmosphere during a test event today. The test marked the 20th successful ballistic missile intercept by the system…

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[youtube=]Footage of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), in cooperation with the United States Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and the U.S. Navy, will conduct an Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) intercept flight test at the Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF), off the coast of Kauai in Hawaii. The event, designated Japan Flight Test Mission 3 (JFTM-3), marks the third time that a JMSDF ship will demonstrate the sea-based midcourse ballistic missile defense capability provided by Aegis BMD. Click here to download the full resolution version: