Press Release

Aegis Missile Defense Flight Conducted: Partial Success

By SpaceRef Editor
June 19, 2003
Filed under , ,

The Missile Defense Agency and the U.S. Navy announced June 18 they have conducted a flight test in the continuing development of the AEGIS Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Program, an element of the Ballistic Missile Defense System. Preliminary indications are that the SM-3 interceptor missile deployed its Kinetic Warhead, but an intercept was not achieved. The primary objective of this test was to evaluate the SM-3 Kinetic Warheadís guidance, navigation and control operation in space using an upgraded solid divert and attitude control system (SDACS). Government and industry officials will conduct an extensive analysis of the flight test, and the results will be used to improve the AEGIS BMD development and testing program.

This was the fourth flight test of the AEGIS BMD system against an Aries target, with the first three tests resulting in successful intercepts of the target missile.

The Aries target missile was launched at 7:15 p.m. EDT (1:15 p.m. HST) from the Pacific Missile Range Facility on the Hawaiian Island of Kauai. The crew of USS LAKE ERIE, an AEGIS cruiser stationed offshore, launched the SM-3 interceptor missile approximately two minutes later.

MDA and the Navy manage the Aegis BMD Program. Raytheon Missile Systems, Tucson, Ariz., is the prime contractor for the development of the SM-3 missile. ATK builds the improved SDACS for the SM-3. Lockheed Martin Naval Electronic and Surveillance Systems, Moorestown, N.J. manages the development of the Aegis Weapon System installed in Aegis cruisers and destroyers, including the upgrades for the AEGIS BMD System.

News media points of contact are Rick Lehner, MDA Communications, at (703) 697-8997 or, in Hawaii, Maj. Cathy Reardon at (703) 963-3179, or Chris Taylor at (703) 963-3484.

Photo Information: Photos will be available at on June 19, 2003.

Video Information:
Time: June 18, 2003 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. HST, 10p.m. to 12a.m. EDT

Digital uplink: AMC-3 (GE-3) TR-9 slot G

Data Rate 5.5 / 3/4 FEC / Symbol Rate 3.9787 / Downlink Freq. 11895.00
L-band 1145.4 H Down

Analog uplink: Ku Band AMC-3 (GE-3) TR-9 C

Downlink Freq. 11880.0 H Down

Turnaround: CNN Newsbeam Atlanta 404-827-1094

Trouble Line: 404-597-9757

For the analog feed, CNN is using a 1/2 Transponder deviation, so receivers
should be set for 17 or 24 meg instead of the usual 36 megs.

SpaceRef staff editor.