Navy SM-3 Block IIA splashes MRBM in test for first time
At approximately 10:30 p.m., Hawaii Standard Time, Feb. 3 a medium-range ballistic missile target was launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility at Kauai, Hawaii. USS John Paul Jones (DDG-53) detected and tracked the target missile with its onboard AN/SPY-1D(V) radar using the Aegis Baseline 9.C2 weapon system. Upon acquiring and tracking the target, the ship launched an SM-3 Block IIA guided missile which intercepted the target.
“Today’s test demonstrates a critical milestone in the cooperative development of the SM-3 Block IIA missile,” said MDA Director Vice Adm. Jim Syring. “The missile, developed jointly by a Japanese and U.S. government and industry team, is vitally important to both our nations and will ultimately improve our ability to defend against increasing ballistic missile threats around the world.”
The U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA), the Japan Ministry of Defense (MoD), and U.S. Navy Sailors aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53) successfully conducted a flight test Feb. 3 (Hawaii Standard Time), resulting in the first intercept of a ballistic missile target using the Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IIA off the west coast of Hawaii
“I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast; for I intend to go in harm’s way,” — John Paul Jones, Captain Continental Navy, letter to Le Ray de Chaumont (16 November 1778).