Updated: Monday, 24 Jan 2011, 11:28 AM EST
Published : Friday, 21 Jan 2011, 12:03 PM EST
NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - The Navy said Monday that it successfully conducted its first live sea-based Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) test held on the East Coast.
The test, held Saturday, was part of exercise Atlantic Trident 2011.
According to the Navy, the USS Monterey (CG 61), USS Ramage (DDG 61) and USS Gonzalez (DDG 66) all
successfully tracked the short-range ballistic missile target that was launched from NASA's Wallops Island Flight Facility on Virginia's Eastern Shore.
The Monterey, an Aegis cruiser, and the Ramage, an Aegis destroyer, took turns tracking and simulating engagement of the target while the Gonzalez, a guided-missile destroyer, participated by tracking the target. All three ships were able to successfully track the target, with the Monterey and the Ramage providing simulated target solutions that would have resulted in a successful intercept.
No missiles were fired from the ships as it was a tracking exercise. The target missile fell harmlessly into the Atlantic Ocean.
Aegis BMD is the sea-based mid-course component of the Missile Defense Agency's (MDA) Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) and is designed to intercept and destroy short to intermediate-range ballistic missile threats.
The Missile Defense Agency and the Navy have modified 21 Aegis BMD combatants (5 cruisers and 16 destroyers). Of the 21 ships, 16 are assigned to the Pacific Fleet and 5 to the Atlantic Fleet. The Secretary of Defense announced in 2010 that 6 more destroyers would be upgraded to the Aegis BMD capability.
The MDA and the U.S. Navy cooperatively manage the Aegis BMD program.
Opinions that are derogatory, attack other users or are offensive in nature may be removed. WAVY is not responsible for the content posted in this comment section. We reserve the right to remove any offensive or off-topic remark or thread. To mark a comment for review by a moderator, click "Flag as inappropriate."