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"Every Aegis BMD test pushes the envelope on what is possible for missile defense from the sea," said Orlando Carvalho , vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin's business unit in Moorestown. "The success achieved today is a direct result of the professionalism of the Sailorsoperating these ships and the thorough systems engineering accomplished collaboratively by the Navy, MDA and industry."
The SPY-1 radar, augmented by the Aegis BSP signal processor, which is in development and will be installed in Aegis BMD ships beginning in 2010,provides an advanced discrimination capability to defeat more complex ballistic missile threats. The Aegis BSP is an open architecture design, allowing for quick and affordable upgrades as the signal processor technology evolves. The move to open architecture for Aegis BMD is in parallel andaligned with the Navy's Aegis Open Architecture (OA) initiative to transformthe (non-BMD) Aegis Weapon System to a fully open architecture system, beginning with the Cruiser Modernization Program now underway. BMD capabilitywill be included in modernized OA Aegis cruisers and destroyers starting in 2012.
The target missile intercepted in today's test was provided by the MDA's Targets and Countermeasures Program, for which Lockheed Martin is prime contractor. A team of Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company and OrbitalSciences Corporation personnel launched the target missile from the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai.
The MDA and the U.S. Navy are jointly developing Aegis BMD as part of thenation's Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS). Ultimately 15 Aegisdestroyers and three Aegis cruisers will be outfitted with the capability toconduct LRS&T and engagement of short- and medium-range ballistic missile threats using the Aegis BMD Weapon System and its SM-3. To date, 11 Aegis destroyers have been upgraded with the LRS&T capability and two Aegis cruisershave been outfitted with the emergency engagement and LRS&T capability.
The Aegis Weapon System is the world's premier naval surface defense system and is the foundation for Aegis BMD, the primary component of thesea-based element of the United States ' BMDS. The Aegis BMD Weapon System seamlessly integrates the SPY-1 radar, the MK 41 Vertical Launching System,the SM-3 missile and the weapon system's command and control system. TheAegis BMD Weapon System also integrates with the BMDS, receiving cues from and providing cueing information to other BMDS elements.