Friday, July 31, 2009

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

Lockheed Martin Aegis BMD Weapon System Intercepts Ballistic Missile Target, Successfully Tests New Capabilities
July 31, 2009

MOORESTOWN, N.J., July 31 - 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 elements.

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.

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