Japan/U.S. Missile Defense Flight Test Completed
(Source: US Missile Defence Agency; issued November 19, 2008)
Rear Admiral Tomohisa Takei, Director General of Operations and Plans, for the Japanese Maritime Staff Office (MSO), Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF), and Lt. General Henry “Trey” Obering, United States Missile Defense Agency director, announced the completion today of a cooperative sea-based Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense intercept flight test off the coast of Kauai in Hawaii.

The event, designated Japan Flight Test Mission 2 (JFTM-2), marked the second attempt by an Allied naval ship to intercept a ballistic missile target with the sea-based midcourse engagement capability provided by Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense. Target performance, interceptor missile launch and flyout, and operation of the Aegis Weapon System by the crew were successful, but an intercept was not achieved.

The JFTM-2 was a test of the newest engagement capability of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense configuration of the recently upgraded Japanese destroyer, JS CHOKAI (DDG-176).

At approximately 4:21 pm (HST), 11:21 am (Tokyo time) a ballistic missile target was launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Barking Sands, Kauai, Hawaii.

JS CHOKAI crew members detected and tracked the target using an advanced on-board radar.

The Aegis Weapon System then developed a fire control solution, and at approximately 4:24 pm (HST), 11:24 am (Tokyo time) on Nov 20, a single Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IA was launched.

Approximately two minutes later, the SM-3 failed to intercept the target.

There is no immediate explanation for the failed intercept attempt. More information will be available after a thorough investigation.

The JS CHOKAI crew performance was excellent in executing the mission. JFTM-2 was the second time that a Japanese ship was designated to launch the interceptor missile, a major milestone in the growing cooperation between Japan and the U.S.

Before returning to Japan, JS CHOKAI will be loaded with additional SM-3 Block IA missiles.

The ship will arrive in Japan with a supply of SM-3 missiles and with the operation of the Aegis BMD configuration tested and confirmed, ready to provide Japan with a proven midcourse engagement capability against the increasing ballistic missile threat present in that region.

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