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On 3 February, the USS JOHN PAUL JONES conducted the first intercept of a ballistic missile target using Raytheon's Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) off Hawaii.

SM-3 Block IIA is a cooperative development between the US and Japan and will operate as part of the AEGIS Ballistic Missile Defence system. The flight test, designated SM-3 Block IIA Cooperative Development (SCD) Project Flight Test, Standard Missile (SFTM)-01, was the third flight test of the SM-3 Block IIA, and the first intercept test. This test also marks the first time an SM-3IIA was launched from an AEGIS vessel and the first intercept engagement using the AEGIS Baseline 9.C2 (BMD 5.1) weapon system.

"Today's test demonstrates a critical milestone in the cooperative development of the SM-3 Block IIA missile," Missile Defense Agency Director Vice-Adm. Jim Syring, said. "The missile, developed jointly by a Japanese and US government and industry team, is vitally important to both our nations and will ultimately improve our ability to defend against increasing ballistic missile threats around the world."

 

USS JOHN PAUL JONES was the platform from which a successful ballistic missile target engagement with an SM-3 Block IIA was conducted on 3 February. (Photo: US Navy)

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