Sailors on the destroyer John Finn successfully fired a missile that intercepted and destroyed an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) target Nov. 16. The test was conducted in conjunction with the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA).
The Finn crew fired the Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IIA while operating in waters northeast of Hawaii, at about 7:50 p.m. local time. The ICBM test missile was launched from the Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site on Kwajalein Atoll in the Republic of the Marshall Islands.
The test entailed the use of engage-on-remote capabilities inherent to Finn’s Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) command-and-control battle management communications network to track, lock onto and hit the ICBM target.
“We have demonstrated that an Aegis BMD-equipped vessel … with the SM-3 Block IIA missile can defeat an ICBM-class target, which is a step in the process of determining its feasibility as part of an architecture for layered defense of the homeland,” said Vice Adm. Jon Hill, the MDA director.