The Navy and the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) successfully tested the “engage on remote” capability of the Aegis combat system in December, using the software baseline that will be employed by the Aegis Ashore sites in Poland and Romania against intermediate-range ballistic missiles (IRBMs).
The test, called FTI-03, was conducted at an Aegis Ashore Missile Defense Test Complex at the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Kauai, Hawaii. The Aegis system, running the baseline software program 9.B2.0, tracked an IRBM air-launched from an Air Force C-17 heavy-lift aircraft thousands of miles from the test site. The Aegis system then cued the launch of an SM-3 Block 2A missile, which intercepted the target.
The demonstration follows a sea-based test, called FTM-45, carried out from the Arleigh Burke–class destroyer USS John Finn (DDG-113) in October, in which Aegis baseline 9.C2 directed the remote launch of a Pacific Missile Range Facility Block 2A SM-3 to intercept an IRBM.