Nine Country Naval Exercise Successfully Shoots Down Ballistic, Cruise Missile Targets off Scotland

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  1. F-22

    F-22 2nd Lieutenant

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    [​IMG]

    The U.S. Navy and eight other countries successfully completed an international detect-to-engage integrated air and missile defense exercise off the coast of Scotland, proving their platforms and people could integrate to provide missile defense in Europe.

    The Maritime Theater Missile Defense (MTMD) Forum, consisting of 10 countries, hosted a three-week Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) At Sea Demonstration.



    “Today, nine member nations of the Maritime Theater Missile Defense Forum, under the auspices of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency, successfully conducted the simultaneous engagement of a ballistic missile in space and an anti-ship cruise missile target, the first demonstration of this capability in the European theater,” Commander of U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa Adm. Mark Ferguson said in an Oct. 20 statement.
    “The execution of the live-fire exercise is a clear demonstration of the forum’s ability to safely conduct effective coalition sea-based defense against simultaneous anti-ship and ballistic missile threats within an operational scenario.”

    The Navy’s four forward-deployed guided-missile destroyers home-ported at Naval Station Rota, Spain, with a special focus on theater ballistic missile defense missions – participated in the exercise, along with planes and ships from Canada, France, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain, and the United Kingdom and personnel from Germany. Australia is a forum member but did not participate in this event.

    “I am particularly proud of the performance of the USS Ross (DDG-71), based in Rota, Spain,” Ferguson said in the statement.
    Ross conducted, in a flawless fashion, the exo-atmospheric ballistic missile intercept in the European theater, based on data provided by an allied ship. This exercise demonstrates the commitment of the United States to the defense of Europe through our Aegis ships and our shore station in Romania, as well as the professional performance of our allied Sailors.”

    In the final portion of the demonstration, a short-range Terrier Orion ballistic missile target was launched from Hebrides Range and was inflight simultaneously with two anti-ship cruise missiles fired at the coalition task group, according to a Navy statement. Ross fired a Raytheon Standard Missile-3 and successfully engaged the ballistic missile target in space. In its air defense role, USS The Sullivans (DDG-68) fired a SM-2.

    The demonstration was the first time an SM-3 Block IA guided interceptor was fired on a non-U.S. range, the first intercept of a ballistic missile threat in the European theater, and the first time an SM-2 was fired on the Hebrides Range.

    During the demonstration, the nine countries had to defend against simultaneous anti-ship and ballistic missile threats originating from multiple locations. The countries had to pass information over a total of 5.7 million square miles, using a variety of platforms from different countries to identify, track and ultimately engage the threats. The coalition fired more than 26 missiles, including the Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile and the SM-3 in the U.S. inventory and the Aster-30 surface-to-air missile used by France, Italy and the U.K.

    “To remain proficient, we must practice unified, decisive, and timely command and control,” Vice Adm. James Foggo, commander of U.S. 6th Fleet, said in a statement ahead of the demonstration.
    “Continuous training also hones our operational tactics, techniques, and procedures, which helps us achieve the level of readiness required to execute such a demanding fast-paced mission as BMD.”

    [​IMG]

    The United Kingdom hosted the event at its Hebrides Missile Test Range. Commodore Frank Sijtsma of the Royal Netherlands Navy commanded the task group, and U.S. Navy Rear Adm. John Hill, Program Executive Officer for Integrated Warfare Systems, chairs the MTMD Forum.

    In addition to forward-stationing the four destroyers in Spain and participating in international exercises, the United States is also boosting its theater missile defense capabilities through two land-based missile defense Aegis Ashore sites, part of the European Phased Adaptive Approach to missile defense.

    Russia has been vocal about its concerns regarding the U.S. build-up of missile defense assets, which the United States has said are meant to protect against Iranian missiles but Russia sees as a threat to its own military capabilities.

    Earlier this year, when Norway announced it would participate in the at-sea demonstration, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said, “we believe that the exercises involving the U.K., Italy, Canada, the Netherlands and France, in addition to Norway and the United States, will be tasked to bolster practice of joint air and missile defense and to test U.S. SM-3 interceptor missiles. The exercises will be held in northeastern parts of the Atlantic, which may be proof of just one thing: they are planning to practice interception of Russian ballistic missiles.”

    http://news.usni.org/2015/10/20/vid...ballistic-cruise-missile-targets-off-scotland
     
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  2. F-22

    F-22 2nd Lieutenant

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    Lockheed Martin: 9-Country Missile Defense Demonstration to Inform Future Aegis Upgrades

    [​IMG]

    The Maritime Theater Missile Defense (MTMD) Forum’s Integrated Air and Missile Defense At-Sea Demonstration this week will help Aegis Combat System developer Lockheed Martin validate how well coalition forces’ platforms can work together in the real world and discover any improvements that may need to be made to the system.

    Nine countries are in the midst of a three-week integrated air and missile defense (IAMD) exercise, and the biggest event took place on Oct. 20 – the the simultaneous tracking and interception of a ballistic missile and cruise missile threats to coalition forces using several navies’ assets.

    Mary Keifer, Lockheed Martin’s Aegis in-service and fleet readiness program director, told reporters Oct. 21 that the ballistic and cruise missile engagement was the third of four ballistic missile launches during the three-week exercise, with each launch testing “different link architectures or network arrangements of who is connected to whom and how data is distributed.”

    For example, the Oct. 20 launch involved four ships: American guided missile destroyers USS Ross (DDG-71) and USS The Sullivans (DDG-68), Spanish frigate Almirante Juan de Borbón (F-102) and Norwegian frigate HNoMS Fridtjof Nansen (F-310). The Sullivans intercepted the cruise missile, while Almirante Juan de Borbón tracked the ballistic missile, and sent data to a shore-based American asset, which forwarded the tracking data to Ross to intercept. Fridtjof Nansen served as a battle group support ship during this phase of the exercise.

    In an earlier portion of the exercise, though, the Spanish frigate sent cuing data directly to Ross rather than using a shore-based intermediary.

    Keifer told reporters that the variety of networking arrangements helps the U.S. Navy, Missile Defense Agency, Lockheed Martin and others understand just how interoperable the system is and if there are any flaws that need to be addressed.

    “A lot of what we will learn out of these exercises is after we take a look at the data that’s been recorded,” she said.
    “We will take data from the various ships that were engaged, were involved in the exercise, we’ll take a look at the information they received over the network, validate the fidelity of that data and the timeliness of that data. So a lot of the what we learn comes months after.”

    She noted that “what we did see was that, in terms of real-time during the engagement, the ships that were involved had situational awareness from each of their sensors and through the datalink connectivity that they had.” That said, Keifer added that “sometimes through looking at the data we’ll find that things looked good but it might be that there was an opportunity where things might not have looked good. It helps us identify where there are potential hazards in the future that we could correct.”

    In addition to providing data to support future decisions by Lockheed Martin to fix flaws or expand the capabilities of Aegis Combat System, the exercise was also useful in demonstrating how easily the Aegis Combat System can be upgraded to include ballistic missile defense capabilities. Keifer said only 29 American and four Japanese ships have the full Aegis BMD capability, but Lockheed Martin worked with the Spanish Navy to partially upgrade Almirante Juan de Borbón for the at-sea demonstration.

    Building off of previous work with Spain – in 2007 Lockheed Martin demonstrated a carry-on/carry-off temporary solution to help Spain’s Aegis-equipped ships track ballistic missiles – Keifer said the company again worked with Spain ahead of the demonstration to do an ad hoc upgrade in the hopes that Spain may upgrade its Aegis ships to the BMD version.

    “In this instance we did a similar modification to the radar as well as a very simple [software] modification to allow them to transmit that track data over the link,” she said.
    “I wouldn’t call it a complete implementation of BMD by any means, but it was an opportunity to show the infrastructure and the basic capabilities are not beyond reach for Spain.”

    The exercise will continue throughout the rest of the month, with a final ballistic missile launch that will involve eight participating militaries’ platforms tracking the threat. Several more anti-air warfare scenarios are scheduled for the remainder of the exercise.

    http://news.usni.org/2015/10/21/loc...demonstration-to-inform-future-aegis-upgrades
     
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