Warfare Center's New System Makes Big Impact for Missile Defense Tests

Naval Surface Warfare Center Corona's new mini-KU satellite communication system aboard USS Lake Erie (CG 70) cut data transfer time by more than 95 percent June 27, during the successful test of the nation's first live-fire, medium-range ballistic missile intercept over the Pacific Ocean using the Navy's Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (ABMD) System.

The successful intercept marks a critical milestone for the second phase of the President's Phased Adaptive Approach for missile defense of Europe, consisting of the standard missile SM-3 1B interceptor employed in an Aegis ashore system in Romania in 2015.

"Our new mini-KU link that's now operational on Lake Erie is a major accomplishment for the Navy's assessment team," said NSWC Corona Commanding Officer Cmdr. Eric Ver Hage. "Mini-KU will be a key capability as we move forward since its faster throughput enables our warfare center and industry analysts to provide faster feedback to shorten the testing cycle even further."

Ver Hage added the new antenna provides more bandwidth to support the new ABMD 4.0.1 weapon system installed aboard ships, and that this version's small form-factor and high portability enable it to be lifted and installed without the need for a crane.

This flight test comes on the heels of last month's historic intercept of a short-range ballistic missile target which successfully used a number of new capabilities for the first time - the second-generation ABMD 4.0.1, the new Standard Missile-3 Block 1B (SM-3 1B) interceptor, the new shipboard mini-KU antenna and another new ground station KU-band antenna which Corona installed at its command last fall to give the Navy increased data link capability.

Source: US Navy
Date: Jun 29, 2012