A U.S. warship failed to intercept a medium-range ballistic missile test target on Saturday, the U.S. Missile Defense Agency has said.

“The U.S. Missile Defense Agency, in cooperation with the U.S. Navy, conducted Flight Test Aegis Weapon System 31 Event 1 on May 29, 2021.

The objective of the test was to demonstrate the capability of a ballistic missile defense (BMD)-configured Aegis ship to detect, track, engage and intercept a medium range ballistic missile target with a salvo of two Standard Missile-6 Dual II (BMD-initialized) missiles.

Program officials have initiated an extensive review to determine the cause of any problems which may have prevented a successful intercept and will thoroughly analyze the results”, the agency said in a statement.

“However, an intercept was not achieved,” it said without giving further details.

It is not known what the circumstances were or where this happened.

The MDA, an agency under the Department of Defense, routinely conducts missile defense tests.

It has previously conducted numerous successful intercept tests using types of SM-6 missiles.

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Karl
Karl
4 months ago

Excellent Opsec. Or a red herring.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
4 months ago
Reply to  Karl

A bit of both. a) it raises the fact that more needs to be invested in ABM technology; and b) it reminds people that there is anti ABM around; and c) it reminds everyone that anti ABM is not fool proof so that if something is fired off and it hits, as opposed to being intercepted, the consequences would still be very real. Sometimes telling the truth, or a version of it, had the best OPSEC outcomes. Particularly if the other side knows the outcome anyway. I suspect that we will see the UK invest in anti aircraft / ABM… Read more »

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
4 months ago

Hi Supportive Bloke, I have long thought the UK needs to put a ABM capability in place but people need to understand that it will not be able to cover the whole country or indeed every cite or major town. Nevertheless, having the capability will provide opportunities for future development, including better coverage. As you suggest ASTER ashore would be an obvious solution. I would also suggest that the RN’s Sea Viper system and its’ radars could be mounted on vehicles to provide a deployable sytem. Upgrades to the SAMPSON radar could be built into the new sets and perhaps… Read more »

Meirion X
Meirion X
4 months ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

If it’s ballistic missiles you trying to defend against, the intercepters would need to be deployed much further afield than the UK mainland.
By the time they reached our shores, they will be traveling at Hypersonic speed, particularly from great heights of tens of miles.

No Hypersonic speed object has been shot down yet!

It is at midcourse stage that SM6’s have shot down the missile targets.

Last edited 4 months ago by Meirion X
Netking
Netking
4 months ago
Reply to  Meirion X

This is not accurate. THAAD has intercepted MRBM and IRBM targets in the terminal phase on several occasions. The SM-6 has also knocked down a MRBM target in its terminal phase all the way back in 2017.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
4 months ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Hi CR

Within the MoD Portsdown MWC site there are BAE and QinetiQ facilities, including T45 radar.

Could these be used if an ABM is procured?

https://www.baesystems.com/en/article/bae-systems-invests–10-million-to-develop-new-technologies-for-the-maritime-integration—support-centre

Last edited 4 months ago by Daniele Mandelli
ChariotRider
ChariotRider
4 months ago

Hi Daniele,

Yeh, those facilities are impressive. I worked for QinetiQ back in the day, different site mind. The stone destroyer was a big investment and then the programme was cut to 6..!

I was thinking of that facility when I suggested using the Sea Viper as the basis for a mobile ABM / SAM system.

Cheers CR

John Hampson
John Hampson
4 months ago

The dated reporting on here is becoming a bit of a habit. Reports of this event were publish on 2nd June, two weeks ago, on numerous locations.
One aspect that was also discussed was how did the Russians get to know about the test in sufficent time to sail a spy ship, the Kareliya, from Valdivostok to 1mile outside the 12 mile limit of the Hawaiian test range.

Paul T
Paul T
4 months ago
Reply to  John Hampson

Aren’t all Tests of this nature declared in advance to avoid any potential misunderstandings.?.

John Hampson
John Hampson
4 months ago
Reply to  Paul T

Apparently the US Navy issued warning of the test, NOTAM, Notice to Air Men and NOMAR, Notice to Mariners on May the 26th. That was the day the Kareliya appeared off the test range after sailing from Valdivostok.

Last edited 4 months ago by John Hampson
Andrew
Andrew
4 months ago
Reply to  John Hampson

John,

I’d imagine the US would notify, with plenty of notice, at least Russia personally, that they were firing a ballistic missile, from x to y, just so there was no misunderstandings…. It wouldn’t surprise me if there was some sort of written agreement/accord between them for this.

John Hampson
John Hampson
4 months ago
Reply to  Andrew

I agree. I only mentioned the Russian spy ship to demonstrate that this story was being discussed 2 weeks before UKDF got round to reporting it. The site needs to pull its socks up instead of being late and copy and pasting just Press Releases.

DRS
DRS
4 months ago
Reply to  John Hampson

I think you are being harsh here.

This site is a volunteer effort and there is fixed capacity on how many stories you can publish per day. It is not a rumor or forum website where others can post. If you want that go to reddit.

Other stories may have made more editorial sense to put up on the 2nd June v’s this story. Also sometimes you hold things back for when there is a quiet news day.

This site definitely does not need to pull it’s socks up it is doing just fine.  😀 

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
4 months ago
Reply to  John Hampson

Thank you I was thinking I read this two weeks back, thought there had been a second failure at first.
Yes there was notifications of a no fly zone that would have likely nodded a wink to the Russians though some were still questioning by some I note if that fully explained their precise knowledge of events. Speculation either way I guess.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
4 months ago
Reply to  George Allison

Hi George,

I’d like to second the Captain. You and your team do a great job whilst holding down full time careers in many cases.

Thanks for your efforts.

Cheers CR

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
4 months ago
Reply to  George Allison

Definite thanks to the UKDJ team for all their efforts.

The number of posts has recently increased noticeably and for a volunteer effort it is actually pretty inpressive.

Sometimes it take a little while to check things out and cross source info.

George Allison
Admin
George Allison
4 months ago

Thank you for the kind words! Also, with regards to stories like this we have to think whether or not it’s news to most of our readers and judging by the analytics it was. With regards to the point about press releases, we don’t have people out there on the testing range so it’s the only source of information we have to report when it comes to discussing what happened.

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 months ago

This gives a bit a reality to the whole BMD argument, even intercepting a sitting ( well pre arranged) test medium range BM is a staggeringly difficult challenge, actual intercepting IRBM or ICBMs in an uncontrolled environment is beyond staggeringly difficult. It’s always better to invest in not having these things launched at you in the first place. It’s just one of those things, it takes less resources and cost to launch a IRBM or ICBM than it does to intercept them.

Last edited 4 months ago by Jonathan
Lawrence
Lawrence
4 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Add in a few decoys then it seems like even more of a wasted endeavour. Still, it’s probably a better capability to have than not.