27 February 2015
Washington DC (XNA) - The U.S. military launched three suborbital rockets near-simultaneously Tuesday as part of a ballistic missile defense (BMD) test involving the Aegis weapon system.
The U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) said in a statement that the rockets were acquired and tracked by sailors aboard two Aegis BMD destroyers while a third destroyer participated in associated operations.
Using this data, the Aegis BMD ships then conducted simulated guided missile engagements with the Distributed Weighted Engagement Scheme (DWES) capability enabled to determine which ship is the preferred shooter, thereby reducing duplication of BMD engagements and missile expenditures while ensuring BMD threat coverage.
Since no guided missiles were launched, the test did not include an attempted intercept, and the MDA noted that the test was "successfully completed."
"This was the first flight test to assess the ability of the Aegis BMD 4.0 weapon system to simulate engagements of a raid consisting of three short-range, separating ballistic missile targets," the statement said. "This was also the first time Aegis BMD 4.0 ships used the DWES capability with live targets."
The rockets were launched between 2:30 a.m. and 2:31 a.m. EDT ( 0730 GMT and 0731 GMT) from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in the state of Virginia, the U.S. space agency said.
Aegis BMD, managed by the MDA and the U.S.
Navy, is the naval component of the U.S.
ballistic missile defense system.