USS Ross Successfully Intercepts Ballistic Missile Target During Coalition Test
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.
ASD-15 is a U.K.-hosted, U.S.-facilitated, multi-national demonstration of coalition Integrated Air and Missile Defense capability.
For the scenario, a short-range Terrier Orion ballistic missile target was launched from Hebrides Range and was in flight 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.
Adm. Mark Ferguson, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, made the following statement:
"Today, nine member nations of the Maritime Theater Missile Defense Forum, under the auspices of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency, successfully conducted the simultaneous engagement of a ballistic missile in space and an anti-ship cruise missile target, the first demonstration of this capability in the European theater. I want to congratulate the men and women whose forethought, detailed preparation and operational planning ensured the success of this important exercise.
"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.
"I am particularly proud of the performance of the USS Ross (DDG 71), based in Rota, Spain. Ross conducted, in a flawless fashion, the exo-atmospheric ballistic missile intercept in the European theater, based on data provided by an allied ship. 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."