Riki Ellison, Chairman and Founder of the Alexandria based Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance, released a statement today about the Aegis ballistic missile defense test yesterday off the coast of Hawaii. Ellison has visited a majority of the missile defense sites in the country and many of them around the world. He is one of the world’s top experts in the field of missile defense. Ellison’s comments are below:
“Yesterday, in the Pacific Ocean, off the coast of Kauai, Hawaii, the United States Navy Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense ship, the U.S.S. Lake Erie (CG-70), intercepted a complex target ballistic missile at the highest point in space ever achieved by the United States Navy. This feat includes the shoot down of the United States satellite in 2008 and any of the previous 32 Aegis Ballistic Missile tests since 2002. In the reality of defending regions from today and tomorrow’s ballistic missile threats, it is optimal to intercept ballistic missile as high as possible to mitigate the fallout of potential nuclear or bio chemical weapons and to increase battle space. This increased battle space enables other lower segment missile defense systems shot opportunities and provides a complete and pervasive protection against the most sophisticated types of ballistic missile threats. This test closely follows the successful September 10th intercept test of multiple missiles with the use of a layered defense system including Aegis and THAAD in the Marshall Islands of the Pacific. The test by the U.S.S. Lake Erie (CG-70) and its crew demonstrated for the first time the 4.0.2 Aegis configuration coupled with the new SM-3 Block IB interceptor that enables more processing capability to intercept multiple targets while defending the ship at the same time. There are currently three U.S.S. Aegis 4.0.2 ships deployed, the U.S.S. Decatur (DDG-73), the U.S.S. Shiloh (CG-67), and the U.S.S. Lake Erie (CG-70). More of these Aegis modernization ships are being built to increase the existing capability needed within the United States Naval Fleet.
This test demonstrated a real scenario by the United States Navy of a single Aegis BMD ship and the capability of its crew to independently detect, track, and engage in a shot doctrine of shooting two SM-3 Block IB interceptors at a single incoming sophisticated ballistic missile target and destroying it with the first interceptor while the second interceptor followed closely behind as a backup in case anything went wrong. This two shot doctrine along with the test history of Aegis BMD of 27 intercepts provides close to a perfect assurance that the incoming ballistic missile will be intercepted. Both of these interceptors have the newest Aegis BMD interceptor missile, the SM-3 Block IB, that has a new Throttling Divert and Altitude Control System (TDACS) that controls the burn of solid fuel in the adjusting the kill vehicle while in the terminal part of its flight to interception. This new SM-3 Block IB, which will be the workhorse interceptor missile for the United States Navy for the next decade and beyond, also has a duel color seeker that provides exponentially more discrimination capability for the kill vehicle in picking out the weapon over the masses of debris, sophisticated countermeasures, and decoys. Both SM-3 Block IB interceptors in this test were able to independently track the sophisticated target missile that was launched and successfully targeted and destroyed the incoming weapon.
This test demonstrated and set the highest level of technical achievement in intercepting advanced regional range ballistic missiles by any nation in the world. This establishes a precedent that sends a message of capability and a much stronger message of deterrence to those rouge nations in the world using ballistic missiles to threaten and project power.
The testing scenario demonstrated could be viewed as a reflection of a Persian Gulf scenario against Iranian short and medium-range missiles in defense of United States bases forward and allies in the Persian Gulf with an Aegis ship taking the first and primary shots.”
Source: Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance
To schedule interviews, please contact Barbara Maxwell at 703-299-0060 or email@example.com