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US Navy, RAN collaborate on integrated air and missile defence test

The US Navy destroyer USS Preble has successfully completed Flight Test Aegis Weapon System-32 (FTM-32), using the Aegis Baseline 9 Combat System to successfully intercept a Medium Range Ballistic Missile (MRBM) target using SM-6 Dual II Software Upgrade.

Supported by the US Missile Defense Agency, RAN, and defence contractor Lockheed Martin, FTM-32 tested a real-world scenario, the company says.

“This flight test utilized the latest updates to Aegis Baseline 9, which improves tracking, identification and intercept capabilities to solve for evolving, complex threats,” said Amr Hussein, vice president and general manager of multi-domain combat solutions at Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems.

Aegis Baseline 9 will equip both RAN ships and the planned Large Optionally Crewed Surface Vessel (LOSV) which will supplement them during the 2030s. Royal Australian Navy and Royal Australian Air Force assets supported the test: Australia demonstrated its advanced radar capabilities aboard an ANZAC-class frigate, HMAS Stuart, while a RAAF E-7 Wedgetail assisted in data collection and communications.

“This was a unique opportunity to work closely with the US Missile Defense Agency and US Navy as they tested the Aegis Weapon System’s ability to detect, track and defend against short-to-medium range ballistic missiles, while we simultaneously observed the performance of our own systems,” said the ADF Chief of Joint Operations, Lieutenant General Greg Bilton.

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