Aegis to target warhead launched from missile
The system has been tested off Kauai only on rockets themselves
THE MISSILE Defense Agency and the U.S. Navy have scheduled a launch test for the missile defense's marine component, the Aegis system, off Kauai waters today.
The test, the seventh intercept flight test for Aegis, will be the first that attempts to destroy a warhead after it separates from the body of a missile, said Chris Taylor, director of communications for the missile agency, in a news release.
Previous tests were conducted against a rocket, he said. Five of those six tests were successful.
The target missile will be launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility at Barking Sands while an Aegis cruiser will detect and track the target, develop a fire control solution, and then the crew will fire the interceptor missile, the SM-3.
It is expected to take the target missile in its midcourse phase of flight, after the warhead and the missile body separate.
Due to security regulations, Taylor would not identify the exact time of the launch or the names of the ships involved in the operation.
However, an Aegis destroyer newly outfitted with the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense equipment will be stationed off the coast of Kauai and will support the mission by performing long-range surveillance and tracking functions.