Home' Defence Technology Review : DTR NOV 2017 Contents 19
DEFENCE TECHNOLOGY REVIEW | ISSUE 37 | NOV 2017
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US NAVY LEADS NAVAL
WARGAMES TO TEST
CAPABILITIES AGAINST THE
BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT.
A MULTI-NATIONAL OPERATIONAL exercise held off the coast
of Scotland from 24 September to 17 October has tested the ability
of Western allies to provide at-sea ballistic missile defence (BMD).
Involving key NATO nations Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the
Netherlands, Spain, the UK and the US, Exercise Formidable Shield
built upon a previous at-sea demonstration in 2015 but with a focus
on real-world operations. Led by the US Navy’s (USN) 6th Fleet, the
exercise sought to improve allied interoperability in a live-fire inte-
grated air and missile defence environment, using NATO command
and control reporting structures.
As part of a scenario simulating a no-warning ballistic missile
attack, a Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) launched by the USN Arleigh
Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook on 15 Oc-
tober successfully destroyed a medium-range ballistic missile tar-
get at sea, a first-of-its-kind test over European waters. The ship is
equipped with a Lockheed Martin BMD 4.0.3 Aegis Combat System.
The SM-3 interceptor is deployed at sea as part of the US contri-
bution to Europe’s BMD capabilities. The first land-based SM-3 site
became fully operational in Romania in 2016, and the Poland site
is expected to be in service next year. An Evolved SeaSparrow Mis-
sile surface-to-air missile was also fired and intercepted a simulated
enemy missile during the exercise. It was the first demonstration of
NATO’s ‘smart defence’ concept, with ships serving as air defence
units protecting naval BMD units.
In a separate event, a USN warship, also operating a BMD 4.0.3
Aegis Combat System, conducted a simulated SM-3 engagement of
a live short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) target using remote track
data provided by am Aegis-equipped F-100-class air defence frigate
of the Spanish Navy. In the same event, another USN ship, oper-
ating with the Baseline 9.C1 integrated air and missile defense ca-
pability, launched SM-2 missiles against cruise missile targets while
simultaneously tracking the SRBM.
Another Raytheon missile, the Standard Missile 6 (SM-6) ‘Dual-1’
intercepted a medium-range ballistic missile target at sea in its final
seconds of flight, after being fired from the USS John Paul Jones, it
was announced on 30 August.
The third time an SM-6 has successfully engaged a ballistic mis-
sile target in its terminal phase, The “Dual 1” is part of the Missile
Defense Agency’s Sea-Based Terminal program and combines both
anti-air warfare and sea-based terminal capabilities into the same
missile. It succeeds the SM-2 Block IV missile.
The multi-mission SM-6 missile is also a key component in the
USN’s Naval Integrated Fire Control – Counter Air, providing an
increased battlespace against over-the-horizon, aerial threats.
First deployed in 2013, Raytheon has delivered more than 300
missiles to date with production continuing. In January 2017, the US
Department of Defense approved sales of the SM-6 missile to several
prospective international customers.
In waters east of the Korean peninsula and near Japan, the USN
and surface combatants from Japan and South Korea conducted a
trilateral link exercise on 24-25 October aimed at improving com-
munications and interoperability in the 7th Fleet area of operations
in the context of BMD at sea.
The exercise employed tactical data link systems to exchange track
data among all the participating ships to allow for enhanced tacti-
cal capabilities, self-defence, situational awareness and information
The guided-missile destroyer USS Donald
Cook fires an SM-3 during Exercise
Formidable Shield 2017 over the Atlantic
Ocean on 15 October. Image: US Navy
ABOVE: The USS John Paul Jones launches an SM-6 that
successfully intercepted a ballistic missile target at sea on 14
December 2016. Image: US Missile Defense Agency
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