Three short-range ballistic missile targets were launched simultaneously from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, Virginia. Two Aegis BMD destroyers acquired and tracked the targets, while another destroyer participated in associated operations.
Using the data, the Aegis BMD ships conducted simulated Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IB-guided missile engagements with the Distributed Weighted Engagement Scheme (DWES). The DWES provides an automated engagement coordination scheme between multiple Aegis BMD ships that determines which ship is the preferred shooter, reducing duplication of BMD engagements and missile expenditures while ensuring BMD threat coverage. Several fire control, discrimination, and engagement functions were exercised. Since no SM-3 guided missiles were launched, the test did not include an attempted intercept.
It was the first flight test to assess the ability of the Aegis BMD 4.0 weapon system to simulate engagements of a raid consisting of three short-range, separating ballistic missile targets. This was also the first time Aegis BMD 4.0 ships used the DWES capability with live targets.
The MDA will use test results to improve and enhance the Ballistic Missile Defense System and support the advancement of Phase 2 of the Phased Adaptive Approach for missile defense in Europe to provide protection of US-deployed forces and our European allies and partners.