US Demonstrates Successful Intercept to North Korea using Satellites

Feb 13, 2013, 12:43 ET from Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance

HONOLULU, Feb. 13, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Riki Ellison, Chairman and Founder of the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance (MDAA),, comments on the last night's successful SM-3 Block IA intercept. Ellison is one of the top lay experts on missile defense in the world.

On a dark night, with stars sparkling high above the shores of the Hawaiian Islands, at 11:10 p.m., a two-stage unified non separating target missile representing a Scud-B medium-range missile flew off from its launch pad at the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Barking Sands, Kauai.

Two of our nation's Space Tracking Surveillance System-Demonstrators (STSS-D) detected and tracked the target in low earth orbit, triangulated the target missile, and provided the tracking and firing data of this target missile back to Colorado Springs who then sent the tracking information through a Link 16 to the Aegis Ballistic Defense cruiser, the USS Lake Erie (CG-70), located over 500 miles away off the coast of Kauai to position a launch of its SM-3 Block IA interceptor in the deck of the USS Lake Erie. At a little past 11:15 p.m. in the star lit night sky of the Hawaiian Islands, the target missile was successfully intercepted by a SM-3 Block IA.

This doctrine is called "Launch on Remote" and has been successfully tested using land based radars such as the AN/TPY-2 with Aegis BMD ships. This successful demonstration using STSS-D satellites, in space, rather than land based radars for queuing of the Aegis BMD ship USS Lake Erie (CG-70) provides a persistent capability that enhances the mobility and effectiveness of the Aegis BMD ships to successfully engage and launch interceptors earlier than it could have on its own and from throughout the world's seas. This is a significant success in increasing the battle space time and having earlier engagements from remote mobile platforms in comparison to having the Aegis BMD ships rely independently on acquiring, tracking, and launching within their line of sight.

This increased capability comes in to dominate play for both North Korean and Iranian ballistic missiles of medium to short-range that threaten the regions of the Middle East and Far East today and in the future.

Further this successful test provides the confidence and reliability of having the new Aegis BMD baseline processor of 4.0.2 work with the SM-3 Block IA in a successful engagement. There are two current 4.0.2 BMD Aegis ships in the fleet with SM-3 Block IAs that now have more reliability and confidence in using their new upgraded system.

Having the "Launch on Remote" doctrine demonstrated and proven to use for all of our nation's sensors from space, land, and sea makes missile defense persistent and reliable giving confidence in defeating the region's North Korea and Iran missile threats.  

This demonstrated capability along with strategically placed interceptors stabilizes regional security for our troops and allies and provides real solutions, other than sanctions, while confronting North Korea and Iran's defiance and proliferation of nuclear ballistic missiles.

Congratulations to the Aegis BMD team, the testing community, and the Missile Defense Agency team for demonstrating to the world this real capability that will make our world safer than it is.


SOURCE Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance