USS Ross Intercepts Ballistic Missile at Test off the Coast of Scotland

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS The Sullivans (DDG 68) fires a Standard Missile 2 (SM-2) during a live-fire test of the ship's Aegis weapons system Oct. 20, 2015. The Sullivans is participating in At Sea Demonstration 2015 (ASD 15), an exercise testing network interoperability between NATO and allied forces. (U.S. Navy photo by Information Specialist 1st Class Steven Martel/Released)
 

On October 20, in the North Atlantic Ocean, USS Ross (DDG 71) successfully intercepted a ballistic missile during the Maritime Theater Missile Defense (MTMD) Forum's At Sea Demonstration (ASD15). The Maritime Theater Missile Defense forum was established in 1999 as a co-operative body for participating navies to develop improved cooperation and promote interoperability in sea-based missile defense.

The test demonstrated the anti-air and ballistic missile defense capabilities of the Aegis Combat System as well as the system’s inherent interoperability—that is, the ability of Aegis-equipped ships to share data with other ships and defense assets (such as aircraft or satellites) in order to carry out their mission.

Aegis ships participating in the ASD15 event included the USS Ross (DDG-71) and USS The Sullivans (DDG-68), Arleigh-Burke class destroyers from the United States, the Spanish frigate Almirante Juan de Borbón (F-102) and the Norwegian frigate Fridtjof Nansen (F-310). In preparation for this test, Lockheed Martin engineers built a temporary upgrade to the Aegis Combat System installed aboard the Almirante Juan de Borbón. The upgrade provided the Spanish frigate with a ballistic missile search and track capability.

“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,” said Admiral Mark Ferguson, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa.
NORTH ATLANTIC OCEAN (Oct. 20, 2015) The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71) fires a Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) as part of an at-sea demonstration showcasing its ability to intercept a short-range ballistic missile target, Oct. 20, 2015. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Mike Wright/ Released)
NORTH ATLANTIC OCEAN (Oct. 20, 2015) The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71) fires a Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) as part of an at-sea demonstration showcasing its ability to intercept a short-range ballistic missile target, Oct. 20, 2015. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Mike Wright/ Released)
NORTH ATLANTIC OCEAN (Oct. 20, 2015) The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71) fires a Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) as part of an at-sea demonstration showcasing its ability to intercept a short-range ballistic missile target, Oct. 20, 2015. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Mike Wright/ Released)
 

For the scenario, a short-range ballistic missile target was launched from Hebrides Range and was inflight simultaneously with two anti-ship cruise missiles fired at the coalition task group. While the USS Ross (DDG 71) engaged the ballistic missile target, the USS The Sullivans (DDG 68), in its air defense role, engaged the cruise missile targets.

“These tests validated the interoperability and durability of Aegis, which has the world’s most advanced maritime ballistic missile defense capabilities” said Douglas Wilhelm, director of Lockheed Martin’s Aegis International programs. “The Aegis-equipped ships rapidly detected and tracked the target, and shared fire-control quality track data over linked communications prior to successful engagement. The crews of all six international ships are to be congratulated for their impressive execution of this complicated exercise.”