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NWS19oct-3. Navy Linebacker ready for sea
by Navy Office of Information
NAVY WIRE SERVICE (NWS) -- 19 October 1998
     WASHINGTON (NWS) -- The U.S. Navy and the Ballistic
Missile Defense Organization are one step closer to
deployment of the first Navy Theater Ballistic Missile
Defense (TBMD) capability after recent successful LINEBACKER
sea trials aboard USS Lake Erie (CG 70) and USS Port Royal
(CG 73) at the Pacific Missile Range, Kauai, Hawaii.
     The two AEGIS-class cruisers are homeported in Pearl
Harbor, Hawaii.
     LINEBACKER is a modification to the AEGIS Weapon System
that allows AEGIS ships to detect, track, and when coupled
with the STANDARD Missile-2 Block IVA, intercept Tactical
Ballistic Missiles (TBM).
     "The delivery of LINEBACKER is a significant milestone
towards an initial Navy area TBMD capability and a major
success for the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization
(BMDO) and the Navy," said Rear Adm. George Huchting,
Program Executive Officer, Theater Surface Combatants.
     Navy TBMD is vital because it provides a defense
against the increasing threat of ballistic missile attack to
our forward deployed forces and allies.
     The term LINEBACKER was chosen to commemorate at-sea
operations during the Vietnam War, when Navy ships provided
critical support to U.S. and allied forces ashore. Similar
to a linebacker in a football game, the U.S. Navy will
proceed to the site of the play, batting down passes,
forcing tackles, and keeping the other side's offense off
balance.
     Sea-based theater ballistic missile defenses highlight
the ability of Navy ships to forward deploy TBMD forces near
potential overseas crisis regions. The defensive advantages
of LINEBACKER will help deter conflict and protect both U.S.
and allied forces deployed to crisis regions, as well as
reinforcements at airfields, debarkation ports and staging
areas.
     Lake Erie and Port Royal are now prepared to
participate in at-sea TBM target tracking events this fall.
LINEBACKER missiles will begin delivery and undergo testing
in 2000.





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