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Surface Combat Systems Center Tests Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense Capabilities During Atlantic Trident Exercise

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS110203-04

From Surface Combat Systems Center Public Affairs

WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. (NNS) -- Surface Combat Systems Center tested the updated capabilities of the U.S. Navy Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense(BMD), Jan. 22, launching a target vehicle from NASA's Wallops Island Flight Facility as part of the Navy's Atlantic Trident exercise.

The exercise provided realistic training for the participating Navy BMD ships, providing a live target to track and simulating the intercept of a short-range missile.

Operating in the Virginia Cape operating area off-shore of Wallops Island, USS Monterey (CG 61), an Aegis cruiser, and USS Ramage (DDG 61), an Aegis destroyer, took turns tracking and simulating engagement of the Terrier-Oriole target while USS Gonzalez (DDG 66), another Aegis destroyer, participated by tracking the target.

The three ships, as well as SCSC, were able to successfully track the target, providing simulated target solutions that would have resulted in a successful intercept.

"I'm extremely pleased that SCSC was able to participate in this first Aegis ballistic missile event performed on the East Coast," said SCSC Commanding Officer Capt. John J. Keegan.

"The entire event was well planned and went just as scripted," said Nathan Struss, SCSC operations and planning specialist. "It was a safe and successful launch from Wallops Island, and valuable data was collected."

The success of this event illustrated the combined potential SCSC and NASA's Wallops Flight Facility can offer the Navy for future fleet training missions in support of Ballistic Missile Defense.

The Aegis BMD Program is the Sea-based Missile Defense (SMD) element of the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS). This program is a continuation of the Navy theater-wide program established to provide the U.S Navy with a rapidly deployable, highly mobile, defense-in-depth Theater Ballistic Missile Defense (TBMD) capability.

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