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SM-3 fails to intercept target in Japanese BMD test

Discussion in 'Pakistan Strategic Forces' started by fatman17, Nov 22, 2008.

  1. fatman17

    fatman17 PDF THINK TANK: CONSULTANT

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    HEADLINES

    Date Posted: 21-Nov-2008

    Jane's Defence Weekly

    SM-3 fails to intercept target in Japanese BMD test

    Nick Brown Jane's Land Desk Editor - London

    The US Missile Defense Agency (MDA), Japan Self-Defense Force (JSDF) and their industry partners have launched an investigation into the causes of a failed ballistic missile defence (BMD) interception trial - the second in as many months and a rare stumble for the United States' most successful BMD programme.

    During the latest trial, known as Japan Flight Test Mission 2 (JFTM-2), Japan's Kongou-class destroyer JS Choukai successfully detected and tracked a ballistic missile target launched from the Barking Sands Pacific Missile Range in Hawaii on 20 November. Its Aegis weapon system, recently upgraded to the Baseline 3.6 standard with BMD capabilities, successfully worked up a firing solution and, three minutes after the target lifted off, Choukai launched a Raytheon Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) Block 1A interceptor.

    A Lockheed Martin spokesman told Jane's that Aegis then provided suitable guidance data to the missile, but that it failed to intercept the target. As far as Lockheed Martin is concerned, therefore, the Aegis Weapon System, Spy-1D radar and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force crew all hit their requirements and performed according to the successful formula as demonstrated by the US Navy (USN).

    The spokesman added that "part of the beauty of this programme is that we all work together as a team to get the job done, so some of our people will be involved in the investigation to make sure that we work up a remedy as quickly as possible".

    A slightly modified Aegis Baseline 3.6.1, which includes a terminal-phase interception capability, was certified in early November and is currently being rolled out across the USN's BMD fleet. Japan's version of Baseline 3.6 includes some Japanese-specific software, but for BMD purposes is essentially the same as the US version.

    SM-3 Block 1A has a proven track record of interceptions in US hands and Japan's first live BMD shot in late 2007, from Choukai' s sister ship JS Kongou , also scored a direct hit. However, the USN also suffered a failed interception in late October when an SM-3 fired by Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Hopper missed its target.

    Rear Admiral Brad Hicks, Aegis BMD programme director at the MDA, is understood to be keen to resolve the issue rapidly for Japan as the US' sole active BMD partner. He said that the investigation into Japan's failed interception "could take days or weeks after the engineering review board is assembled" and confirmed that the Hopper investigation is continuing.

    Japanese industry is involved with the follow-on SM-3 Block 1B and SM-3 Block 2 variants but, according to a Raytheon statement, the Block 1A is entirely US-sourced.

    Raytheon declined to comment before the Choukai review is completed.

    © 2008 Jane's Information Group
     
  2. Munir

    Munir PDF THINK TANK: ANALYST

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    I think that there is impossible 100% success but this is done in a well controlled single shot arena... I think we can make tougher conclusions if BM is smarter (ecm/eccm/multiple heads/correctrions) then the umbrella is a dead system. Sofar I can see it us a nice pr but in reality a failed idea.
     
  3. Black Stone

    Black Stone SENIOR MEMBER

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    That's right, difficult to achieve 100% success rates, the only thing they could do is minimize the fail rate. Unfortunately for them, the failed this time.