News: Japan/U.S. Missile Defense Flight Test Successful
Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force
U.S. Missile Defense Agency
Rear Adm. Katsutoshi Kawano of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and Lt. Gen. Henry "Trey" Obering III, director of the United Stated Missile Defense Agency, announced today the successful completion of the cooperative Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense intercept flight test, off the coast of Kauai in Hawaii.
The event, designated Japan Flight Test Mission 1, marked the first time that an Allied Navy ship has successfully intercepted a ballistic missile target with the sea-based midcourse engagement capability provided by Aegis BMD.
The JFTM-1 test event verified the new engagement capability of the Aegis BMD configuration of the recently upgraded Japanese destroyer, JS KONGO (DDG-173). At approximately 12:05 pm (HST), 7:05 am Tokyo time on Dec. 18, a ballistic missile target was launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Barking Sands, Kauai, Hawaii. JS KONGO crew members detected and tracked the target. The Aegis Weapon System then developed a fire control solution and at approximately 12:08 pm (HST), 7:08 am Tokyo time, a Standard Missile -3 Block IA was launched. Approximately three minutes later, the SM-3 successfully intercepted the target approximately 100 miles above the Pacific Ocean.
FTM-1 was the first time that a Japanese ship was designated to launch the interceptor missile, a major milestone in the growing cooperation between Japan and the U.S. Previous participation had been limited to tracking and communications exercises.