From US Navy: USS Ross (DDG 71) successfully intercepted a ballistic missile in the North Atlantic Ocean during the Maritime Theater Missile Defense (MTMD) Forum’s At Sea Demonstration (ASD) Oct. 20, 2015.
This is first time a Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IA guided interceptor was fired on a non-U.S. range and the first intercept of a ballistic missile threat in the European theater.
For the scenario, 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. Ross fired a SM-3 and successfully engaged the ballistic missile target in space. In its air defense role, USS The Sullivans (DDG 68) fired a SM-2, which is the first time a SM-2 was fired on the Hebrides Range.
“ASD-15 shows that with communication, collaboration and commitment nations can come together and flawlessly defend against a complex threat scenario.” – Vice Adm. James Foggo, Commander, U.S. 6th Fleet.
ASD-15 is a U.K.-hosted, U.S.-facilitated, multi-national demonstration of coalition Integrated Air and Missile Defense capability. Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) is a process by which coalition ships and aircraft share information with each other to better defend themselves and coalition related assets against ballistic missile attacks.
There are a number of firsts associated with this event including:
First intercept of a ballistic missile target in the European theater
First SM-3 fired on a non-U.S. range.
The first firing of an SM-2 and SM-3 on the Hebrides Range, United Kingdom.
First use of multi-national beyond line of sight link architecture for IAMD purposes in the European theater.
First international ship (Netherlands and Spain) transmissions of BMD cues to a U.S. BMD guided missile destroyer.
First time coalition IAMD used in a scenario with simultaneous attack from anti-ship cruise and ballistic missiles.
This test demonstrates the commitment of the United States to the defense of Europe through our four Aegis ships forward deployed to Rota, Spain, and shore station in Romania.
The 10 MTMD Forum member nations are: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain, United Kingdom, and the United States. Eight nations provided ships and aircraft for ASD-15 including Canada, France, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain, United Kingdom, and the United States with Germany providing personnel to augment the Forum’s multi-national Combined Task Group staff.
The tactical data link used in ASD-15 covers over 5.7 million square miles. USS Mount Whitney (LCC-20), flag ship for U.S. 6th Fleet, served as the viewing platform for officials representing participating coalition nations during ASD-15; delegates from seven MTMD Forum nations, Denmark, and Japan watched the missile intercept on a live video feed aboard the ship.
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.
From Christopher P. Cavas, Defense News: The Dutch frigate De Zeven Provincien and Spanish frigate Almirante Juan de Borbón tracked the target and provided cueing information to the Ross. Ships from both classes previously have traveled to Hawaii to participate in similar ballistic missile defense tests on the Pacific Missile Test facility at Kauai.
From US 6th Fleet: 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….
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.
This achievement also highlights the enduring value of our MTMD Forum member nations – Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain, and the United Kingdom—and demonstrates the interoperability of allied navies to conduct integrated air and missile defense.
Excerpts from statement by Admiral Mark Ferguson, Commander of US naval forces in Europe and Africa.