Most Complex Missile Defense Test Ever

The US military last week conducted its “largest, most complex missile defense flight test ever,” announced the Missile Defense Agency. Flight Test Integrated-01 was a combined developmental and operational live-fire exercise that included airmen in the 613th Air and Space Operations Center at JB Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, and airmen, sailors, and soldiers operating in the western Pacific around the Reagan Test Site in the Kwajalein Atoll. The Oct. 25 drill (Kwajalein time) involved the simultaneous engagement of three ballistic missile targets and two cruise missile targets to stress the integrated performance of the Army’s Patriot Advanced Capability-3 and Terminal High Altitude Area Defense systems and the Navy’s Aegis BMD element. Initial indications are that THAAD “successfully intercepted” its first-ever medium-range ballistic missile target, while PAC-3 “near simultaneously destroyed” a short-range ballistic missile and a low-flying cruise missile over water, according to MDA’s release. Also, the USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) “successfully engaged” a low-flying cruise missile over water and launched an SM-3 Block 1A interceptor against an SRBM. However, “there was no indication” of an intercept of the latter, states the release. (FTI-01 fact sheet) (See also Lockheed Martin release and Raytheon release)