The Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) system’s recently upgraded signal processor, designed and developed by Mercury Systems, enables the U.S. Navy to defeat more sophisticated ballistic missile threats and improve target identification capabilities. The technology includes an open architecture BMD computing suite that supports future insertion of off-the-shelf products and third-party components. Mercury’s application-ready subsystems (ARS) are integrated as core technologies in the second-generation Aegis BMD system.

Photo: Naval Air Systems Command
A U.S. Missile Defense Agency’s Flight Test Standard Missile- 20 (FTM-20) exercise was recently conducted near the Pacific Missile Range Facility, on Kauai, Hawaii. A Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IA guided missile was launched from the USS LAKE ERIE (CG 70) during a Missile Defense Agency and U.S. Navy test in the mid-Pacific and used satellite-based information to successfully intercept a medium-range ballistic missile target that had been launched from the Barking Sands Pacific Missile Range Facility.

After receiving information from space tracking and surveillance systems satellites integrated through Lockheed Martin’s Command and Control, Battle Management, and Communications (C2BMC), the Lake Erie’s crew detected and tracked the target while its weapons system developed a fire control solution. The crew then launched the SM-3 missile before its SPY-1 radar detected the target with the intercept occurring a few minutes later. The ship’s Aegis system, also developed by Lockheed Martin, guided the missile using information from the satellites until the target was detected and tracked.

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To view a video of this test, go to