Thursday, June 24, 2021

Fwd: Navy deploying 11 Aegis interception missiles for ICBMS

The Pentagon's No. 2 official has ordered 11 missile interceptors transferred from research and development for possible deployment on Navy ships in the Pacific or European regions after a test in November indicated they could stop an intercontinental ballistic missile.

In the test, the USS John Finn intercepted a mock ICBM intended to simulate one that could be launched at Hawaii by North Korea. The destroyer, operating near Hawaii, fired off one of the Standard Missile-3 model Block IIA interceptors built by Raytheon Technologies Corp. at the target launched from Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands.

Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks informed Congress May 27 of her rationale for transferring the interceptors, although she didn't disclose it publicly.

"The missiles have conducted successful intercept tests and their deployment is in the important interest of our national security," Hicks spokesman Jamal Brown said in an email this month. The transfer to the Navy marks the first major missile defense initiative of the Biden administration.

Although the Navy's Aegis combat system, which launched the missile, and the interceptor "were not designed to defeat an ICBM-class target, this test demonstrated some potential limited capability," Vice Admiral Jon Hill, director of the Missile Defense Agency, said in testimony to Congress last week.

The Block IIA is the latest model in the Standard Missile family of weapons. Earlier versions are now the Navy's primary surface-to-air defensive system against short-, medium-, and intermediate-range ballistic missiles threats. The IIA has increased range, more sensitive seeker technology, and an advanced "kill vehicle," or warhead, to intercept medium- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles. Congressional missile defense supporters mandated the November test to determine the missile's capabilities to intercept an ICBM.

Navy Ships Close to Getting Interceptors That Could Stop an ICBM - Bloomberg

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