Lockheed Martin Aegis BMD Weapon System Intercepts Ballistic Missile Target, Successfully...

Fri Jul 31, 2009 1:33am EDT

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

Lockheed Martin Aegis BMD Weapon System Intercepts Ballistic Missile Target,
Successfully Tests New Capabilities

MOORESTOWN, N.J., July 31 /PRNewswire/ -- Lockheed Martin's (NYSE: LMT) Aegis
Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) System today destroyed a ballistic missile
target in an at-sea firing under operationally realistic conditions. The event
also successfully demonstrated two new capabilities on other ships. These
tests mark the continued successful engineering development of the next
generational upgrade in Aegis BMD capability. 

The Aegis BMD system on USS HOPPER (DDG-70) detected and tracked the ballistic
missile target, and computed a targeting solution to guide an SM-3 Block IA 
missile to a successful exo-atmospheric (outside the atmosphere) intercept. 

Nearby on the testing range, USS LAKE ERIE (CG-70) tracked the ballistic
missile target and the post-intercept debris with an advanced BMD signal
processor. The processor provides additional target discrimination capability
and is part of the new Aegis BMD baseline 4.0.1, which was installed on USS
LAKE ERIE in June for testing and certification. Aegis BMD 4.0.1 builds on
earlier versions of the system that are operationally certified by the U.S.
Navy and deployed in the Fleet. Over the next year, USS LAKE ERIE will
complete a series of tests, leading up to full operational certification of
the upgraded Aegis BMD 4.0.1 system in early 2011.

Also nearby, USS O'KANE (DDG-77) used a prototype kill assessment system and a
modified Mk 99 fire control system to collect telemetry data for improved
post-mission analysis. The kill assessment system provides a video link from
the SM-3's kill vehicle. The video feed is combined with radar data to confirm
that an intercept occurred and that the intended target was destroyed.

Immediately following the first mission, USS LAKE ERIE (CG-70) conducted
another successful tracking exercise against a second ballistic missile
target, while the USS HOPPER and USS O'KANE both executed simulated
engagements against the target.  No intercept was planned or attempted.

The Missile Defense Agency and the U.S. Navy are jointly developing Aegis BMD
as part of the United States' Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS). 
Recently the Navy's independent operational test agent assessed the Aegis BMD
and SM-3 Block IA system to be operationally effective and operationally
suitable. Currently, a total of 20 Aegis BMD-equipped warships - 18 in the
U.S. Navy and two in the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force - have the
certified capability to engage ballistic missiles and perform long-range
surveillance and tracking missions. Three additional U.S. East Coast-based
Aegis-equipped ships are being modified to perform ballistic missile defense
in the next six to 12 months.  

The Aegis Weapon System is the world's premier naval defense system and the
sea-based element of the U.S. Ballistic Missile Defense System. Its precision
SPY-1 radar and integrated command and control system seamlessly guides the
interceptor and uplinks target track information to the missile for terminal
homing. Its ability to detect, track and engage targets ranging from
sea-skimming cruise missiles to ballistic missiles in space is proven and
unmatched. The Aegis BMD Weapon System also integrates with the BMDS,
receiving track data from and providing track information to other BMDS

The 91 Aegis-equipped ships currently in service around the globe have more
than 950 years of at-sea operational experience and have launched more than
3,500 missiles in tests and real-world operations.  In addition to the U.S.
and Japan, Aegis is the maritime weapon system of choice for Australia,
Norway, South Korea and Spain. 

Lockheed Martin is a world leader in systems integration and the development
of air and missile defense systems and technologies, including the first
operational hit-to-kill missile defense system, Patriot Advanced Capability-3
(PAC-3).  It also has considerable experience in interceptor systems, kill
vehicles, battle management command, control and communications, precision
pointing and tracking optics, as well as radar and other sensors that enable
signal processing and data fusion. The company makes significant contributions
to nearly all major U.S. Missile Defense Systems and participates in several
global missile defense partnerships.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company
that employs about 146,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the
research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of
advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported
2008 sales of $42.7 billion.

For additional information on Lockheed Martin Corporation,

SOURCE  Lockheed Martin

Kathy Baier of Lockheed Martin +1-856-722-3006; cell, +1-609-472-7954,
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.