Japan Missile Defense Flight Test Successful Through Intercept

September 12, 2018 – The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) and the United States Missile Defense Agency (MDA) announce the successful completion of an Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) intercept flight test, in cooperation with the U.S. Navy, off the coast of Kauai in Hawaii. The event, designated Japan Flight Test Mission-05 (JFTM-05), was conducted in order to demonstrate a successful engagement of a target missile from the JS ATAGO using the sea-based midcourse engagement capability provided by Aegis BMD.

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The JFTM-05 test event verified the newest BMD engagement capability of the Japan (J6) Aegis BMD configuration of the recently upgraded Japan destroyer, JS ATAGO (DDG-177). At approximately 10:37pm HST on September 11, 2018 a simple separating, ballistic missile target was launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility at Barking Sands, Kauai, Hawaii. JS ATAGO crew members detected and tracked the target. The Aegis Weapon System then developed a fire control solution and a Standard Missile -3 Block IB Threat Upgrade (SM-3 Blk IB TU) missile was launched. The SM-3 successfully intercepted the target above the Pacific Ocean. JFTM-05 is a significant milestone in the growing cooperation between Japan and the U.S. in the area of missile defense.

“This successful test is a major milestone verifying the capabilities of an upgraded Aegis BMD configuration for Japan’s destroyers,” said MDA Director Lt. Gen. Sam Greaves. “This success provides confidence in the future capability for Japan to defeat the developing threats in the region. My congratulations to the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, our MDA team, and our industry partners. We are committed to assisting the Government of Japan in upgrading its national missile defense capability against emerging threats.”

“Congratulations and thank you very much to all concerned with the test,” said RADM Akira Saito, Senior Director General, Operations & Plans Department, Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF), and on-site lead for the test. “I believe the success of this flight test mission (JFTM-05) further strengthened the Japanese BMD system. We, the JMSDF and U.S. Navy, will enhance our relationship and cooperation to continuously promote our ballistic missile defense.”