KAUAI, Hawaii, Oct. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- JS Kirishima, Japan's fourth destroyer equipped with Lockheed Martin's (NYSE: LMT) Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) system, successfully intercepted and destroyed a ballistic missile target above the atmosphere during an international test event.
"This test completes the planned upgrade of the Japanese navy's destroyers with the Aegis ballistic missile defense capability," said Jeff Bantle, Lockheed Martin's vice president of Surface-Sea Based Missile Defense Systems. "The Aegis system interoperated seamlessly with multiple international systems during this test, proving that the system's capabilities and architecture have evolved over its 40-year history."
Two U.S. Navy Aegis BMD ships, the USS Lake Erie (CG 70) and USS Russell (DDG 59) also participated in the test. Russell, a BMD equipped destroyer, tracked the target and performed a simulated engagement. Lake Erie, equipped with the second-generation Aegis BMD Weapon System -- which provides greater on-board discrimination capability -- tracked the missile target and post-intercept debris using its advanced signal processor.
The Aegis BMD-equipped Kirishima detected and tracked the separating medium-range ballistic missile target. It then developed a fire control solution and launched and guided a Standard Missile (SM)-3 Block IA missile to intercept outside the Earth's atmosphere.
In another test earlier this month, Kirishima demonstrated her ability to interoperate with the Navy for BMD operations. In a test event, Kirishima acquired a separating target passed from the U.S. destroyer with her own sensors and performed a simulated engagement against the target.
The Missile Defense Agency and the Navy are jointly developing Aegis BMD as part of the United States' Ballistic Missile Defense System. Currently, a total of 25 Aegis BMD-equipped warships - 21 in the U.S. Navy and four in the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force - have the certified capability to engage ballistic missiles and perform long-range surveillance and tracking missions. Twelve additional ships have been identified for modification to perform BMD capabilities by 2014.
Lockheed Martin is a world leader in systems integration and the development of air and missile defense systems and technologies. The company makes significant contributions to all major U.S. missile defense systems and participates in several global missile defense partnerships. It also has considerable experience in interceptor design and production, infrared seekers, command and control/battle management, and communications, precision pointing and tracking optics, as well as radar and signal processing.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 133,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation's 2009 sales from continuing operations were $44.0 billion.
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SOURCE Lockheed Martin