The USS John Paul Jones successfully conducted a complex missile defence flight test, resulting in the intercept of a medium-range ballistic missile target using Standard Missile-6 guided missiles during a test off the coast of Hawaii today.

The John Paul Jones detected and tracked a target missile launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai, Hawaii with its onboard AN/SPY-1 radar, and onboard SM-6 missiles executed the intercept.

“We are working closely with the fleet to develop this important new capability, and this was a key milestone in giving our Aegis BMD ships an enhanced capability to defeat ballistic missiles in their terminal phase,” said MDA Director Lt. Gen. Sam Greaves. “We will continue developing ballistic missile defense technologies to stay ahead of the threat as it evolves.”        
This test, designated Flight Test Standard Missile-27 Event 2 (FTM-27 E2), marks the second time that an SM-6 missile has successfully intercepted a medium-range ballistic missile target.

Aegis BMD is the naval component of the Ballistic Missile Defense System. MDA and the US Navy cooperatively manage the Aegis BMD program. Additional information about all elements of the ballistic missile defence system can be found here.

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I know we’ve said it a thousand times, but it would have been so much better had the UK gone down the route of the Mk41+Standard family of missiles instead of Sylver+Aster.

Had the UK done so, having SM-3s and SM-6s would just be a matter of signing the cheque.


I wonder if the public at large realise that we have no defence against ballistic missiles? Adding MK41 silos to the T45s would certainly be welcome. Indeed it may be a necessity to protect the QE class from future threats.


I think much of the country assumes there is some sort of defence….. the reality being there is none of any kind.


In fairness there is some level of hindsight in the comment re Aster vs SM family. The Aster-15 and Aster-30 are by all accounts very fine missiles in their class, stuff I’ve read claim they are superior to the equivalent SM models. I agree though that the choice has put us in a bad position now regarding ABM options since the development of ABM variants for the Aster family seemed to get forgotten about.


I agree with you Julian.

When facing an aircraft, ideally I’d prefer an Aster-30 compared to the SM-2.

Problem being though, with American weapons you have future development.
With the Asters, you have….. nothing.
Their BMD ability is still in the works though unfunded (so will never happen) and they need greater range and therefore larger launch cells.

Mr Bell

Agree we should utilise the type 45s amazing radar system to provide a BMD capability. Aster 30NT might be the answer though, Italians are trying these out as BMD interceptors on their FREMM frigates currently. If aster cannot provide a BMD capability we should purchase and retrofit the mk41 on type 45 and type 26s. Note at present, despite costing £1.23 billion each, the type 26 is going to be fitted for but not with mk41vl systems and no missile fit has yet been selected or funded. Flippin bad joke!

Nick Bowman

Could we effectively operate SM6 from the Type 26 frigates?


The’d fit in the cells certainly, and Artisan radar and fire control could ‘probably’ be programmed to work together to defeat aircraft.

Different kettle of fish though for ABM.