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Press Advisory


Release No: 150-03
December 10, 2003

Missile Defense Agency Conducts Flight Mission 6

     The Missile Defense Agency, in cooperation with the Navy is scheduled to conduct an Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Flight Mission-6 (FM-6) test on Dec. 11, 2003.  This test is the next step in integrating Aegis BMD into the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS).  FM-6 will evaluate selected long range surveillance and track (LRS&T) functions of the Aegis Weapon System capability as part of the BMDS to defeat a medium range unitary ballistic missile threat using the Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) from an Aegis cruiser.  Extensive engineering evaluation data will be collected for analyses in preparation for initial deployment and future flight tests.  Program officials will evaluate the data and incorporate changes as required.


     FM-6 is the third of a six-flight test series within the Block 2004 time period to develop a sea-based ballistic missile defense against short to medium range ballistic missiles.  FM-6 is the third developmental flight test against increasingly complex, stressing, ballistic missile engagement scenarios and greater use of operational-like procedures.


     Extensive ground testing has preceded this FM-6 test firing and continues in parallel, particularly on the solid divert and attitude control systems air defense variants of the Standard Missile are currently at sea in more than 65 U.S. Aegis cruisers and destroyers, and in four Japanese Aegis destroyers.  More than 20 additional U.S. Aegis destroyers are in the production and planning cycle.


     MDA, in cooperation with the U.S. Navy manages the Aegis BMD Program.  Lockheed Martin Maritime Systems and Sensors, Moorestown, N.J., is the combat system engineering agent (CSEA) and prime contractor for the Aegis weapon system and vertical launch system installed in Aegis cruisers and destroyers.  Raytheon Missile Systems, Tucson, Ariz., is the prime contractor for the SM-3 missile.


     News media point of contact is Chris Taylor, MDA Communications, at (703) 697-8001.

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