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11 Dec 15. U.S. Missile Defense Agency tests Lockheed, Raytheon interceptors. The U.S. Missile Defense Agency said it successfully completed the first intercept test for Lockheed Martin Corp’s land-based Aegis missile-defense system, which is due to be deployed in Romania.
The primary objective of the test, which used Raytheon Co’s Standard Missile-3 Block IB missile, was to assess the effectiveness of the Aegis Ashore capability, the agency said in a statement.
The system uses identical set-ups to those used aboard Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) vessels, the primary sea-based component of the U.S. missile defense system. (http://bit.ly/1OUU5VS)
Lockheed is the primary contractor for the Aegis system, which integrates radars, computers, software, displays, weapons launchers and weapons to defend against a range of surface, aerial and underwater threats.
The Missile Defense Agency and the U.S. Navy cooperatively manage the Aegis ballistic missile defense program.
The test was in collaboration with the U.S. Pacific Command, the U.S. European Command and the Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense.
Riki Ellison, founder of the non-profit Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance, said the test, conducted from Hawaii to simulate an intermediate-range missile attack from Iran on southern Europe, was a “significant achievement.”
He said the test replicated an Iranian Ghadr-110 medium-range missile with a two-stage target missile dropped from a U.S. C-17 aircraft. The interceptor was fired from the Aegis Ashore site in Kauai in Hawaii, he said.
Ellison said the test “validated” the European Phased Adaptive Approach missile-defense system to be deployed in Romania next year. The system will include a forward radar based in Turkey and command-and-control from Ramstein in Germany.
The United States plans to establish another land-based Aegis system in Poland in 2018.
On Tuesday, the United States and Japan conducted a second successful test of Raytheon’s new Standard Missile-3 Block IIA missile that is being jointly developed by the two countries, according to two sources familiar with the test.
The test marked another milestone toward deployment of the missile on U.S. Aegis destroyers and Japan’s Kongo ships in coming years. The Block IIA missile will also be deployed in Poland, Ellison said.
U.S. missile defense plans have raised concerns in both Russia and China, which fear they could undermine their nuclear deterrent forces.
10 Dec 15. A successful flight test has proved that the latest upgrades to the Raytheon-made (NYSE: RTN) Patriot Integrated Air and Missile Defense system will be able to destroy advanced threats at greater ranges. The upgraded system more effectively employs the newest Patriot interceptor. The combat-proven Patriot system, upgraded with a suite of improvements collectively known as Post-Deployment Build 8 (PDB-8), successfully tracked and engaged a ballistic missile target with PAC-3 MSE missiles during the test.
“Patriot continues to evolve and improve to outmatch belligerent nations in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, which are constantly improving their weapon systems and tactics,” said Ralph Acaba, Raytheon vice president of Integrated Air and Missile Defense. “When fully developed and fielded, PDB-8 will enable Patriot to take more complete advantage of PAC-3 MSE’s capabilities.”
One upgrade, known as the Radar Digital Processor (RDP), enables the PAC-3 MSE interceptor to realize more of its potential. The RDP is a ruggedized, commercial, off-the-shelf processor that reduces Patriot’s operations and maintenance cost while improving its previously impressive reliability by approximately 40 percent. RDP is fully digital, which means that its software can be upgraded to address future threats.