WASHINGTON - The Navy successfully completed the longest range Anti-Air Warfare intercept in Navy history at the Point Mugu Test Range in California, Sept. 22.
During the Naval Integrated Fire Control - Counter Air (NIFC-CA) test, USS Princeton (CG 59), equipped with the latest Aegis Baseline 9, successfully processed data from a remote airborne sensor to engage and destroy an over-the-horizon threat representative target using Standard Missile-6 (SM-6).
This is not the first time that SM-6 has shattered its own distance record. The missile broke the previous long-range intercept record in January of this year onboard USS John Paul Jones at Pacific Missile Range Facility, a milestone it originally set in June of 2014.
This NIFC-CA test was the tenth consecutive successful live-fire test to demonstrate an over-the- horizon, engage-on-remote capability. This particular test also successfully validated the NIFC-CA from the sea kill chain concept.
The success of this test was due to the collaborative efforts of the Navy Point Mugu Test Center, Naval Integrated Fire Control - Counter Air and Aegis Weapon System program offices and multiple industry partners.
"NIFC-CA is a game changer for the U.S. Navy that extends the engagement range we can detect, analyze and intercept targets at sea," said Rear Adm. Jon Hill, the Program Executive Office Integrated Warfare Systems (PEO IWS). "This test is a significant accomplishment, one that will shape the future of surface warfare."
NIFC-CA From The Sea is a program of record which uses four pillar programs to act as a kill chain for the surface fleet: Aegis Baseline 9.0, Cooperative Engagement Capability, E2D Hawkeye and SM-6.
"We are looking at every ship as a potential offensive weapons platform in an effort to gain and maintain sea control," said Vice Adm. Tom Rowden, commander, Naval Surface Forces.
"Neutralizing enemy cruise missiles at range, as demonstrated in this test, is one of the dramatic leaps forward the Surface Force is making to implement the concept of Distributed Lethality and extending the offensive battlespace."
SM-6 provides U.S. Navy ships with extended-range protection against fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles and anti-ship cruise missiles and ballistic missiles in the terminal phase of flight. The active radar and extended range of the SM-6 allow it to track and destroy over the horizon targets which are out of sight of operators on deck.
Aegis Baseline 9 delivers a fully open architecture system on U.S. cruisers and destroyers and is the basis for current and future Aegis Integrated Air and Missile Defense. Baseline 9 is being fielded on in-service destroyers, new construction destroyers and Aegis Ashore. The Aegis Common Source Library-enabled derivatives are on Freedom-variant littoral combat ships and will be included on the upcoming frigate ship.
PEO IWS is an affiliated Program Executive Office of the Naval Sea Systems Command. IWS is responsible for spearheading surface ship and submarine combat technologies and systems, and for implementing Navy enterprise solutions across ship platforms.