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."