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Successful Missile Defense Dual-Target Tracking Exercise Completed

June 13, 2008

Air Force Lieutenant General Henry "Trey" Obering III, Missile Defense Agency (MDA) director, announced the successful completion of a tracking exercise conducted by MDA and the U.S. Navy today off the coast of Kauai, Hawaii by the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) system aboard the USS Lake Erie (CG 70). The event follows the June 5, 2008 successful terminal interception of a threat-representative ballistic missile by the Aegis BMD system using a modified Standard Missile - 2 Block IV missile.

During this exercise, two medium-range target missiles were launched near-simultaneously from the Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF), Barking Sands, Hawaii. Shortly after lift-off, the crew of the USS Lake Erie, utilizing the Aegis BMD weapon system and onboard AN-SPY-1 radar, acquired and tracked the targets. Using the tactically certified Aegis BMD system, the crew developed fire control solutions and simulated the launch of two Standard Missile – 3 (SM-3) Block IA interceptors. The equipment performed according to design, and simulated intercepts occurred minutes later. The target missiles fell harmlessly into the Pacific Ocean.

This exercise also served as an important data collection opportunity for the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) transportable AN/TPY-2 X-band radar. Two forward-based AN/TPY-2 radars, located at PMRF, acquired and tracked the target missiles and provided data to Aegis BMD via operational communication links.

The Aegis SM-3 interceptor system is the sea-based, midcourse defense component of the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) and is cooperatively managed by MDA and the U.S. Navy. The BMDS provides an integrated, layered defense of the United States, our deployed forces, allies and friends against ballistic missile threats of all ranges, in all phases of flight—boost, midcourse and terminal.

Media contacts are Chris Taylor, MDA Public Affairs, at (703) 901-9476 (cell), or Rick Lehner, MDA Public Affairs, at (703) 697-8997.

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