Archive for the ‘Chokai’ Category

Japan, U.S. Navy Express Disappointment, Regret At Failure of Missile Defense Test “At the Last Second”

November 20, 2008

The Navy of Japan and the United States Navy as well as the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) expressed disappointment and  after a missile defense test failure over the Pacific Ocean November 20, 2008.

By William Cole
The Honolulu Advertiser

A missile fired by the Japanese destroyer Chokai yesterday failed to intercept a ballistic missile target off Kaua’i in a second test of Japan’s ship-based Aegis ballistic missile defense system.
The $55 million exercise paid for by Japan was intended to knock down a simulated ballistic missile in which the warhead separated from the booster.

But Rear Adm. Brad Hicks, the Aegis system program manager for the U.S. Missile Defense Agency, said an “anomaly” occurred in the fourth stage of flight by the Standard Missile-3 Block 1A seeker missile.

A kinetic warhead released by the missile found and tracked the simulated ballistic missile, but in the last few seconds it “lost track” of the target, Hicks said.

This is the ballistic missile target launched from the Pacific missile range facility (PMRF) in Hawaii.  Photo: MICHAEL BEJARANO | Sandia National Laboratories

“The missile, until the very end of flight, had excellent performance,” Hicks said.

Hicks said an investigation will determine “if it was just that individual missile, or something that we need to take a look at.”

The Aegis ballistic missile defense system has been successful in 16 of 20 attempts.

Hicks said the same type of missile, fired by the Pearl Harbor cruiser Lake Erie, was used to successfully shoot down a failing U.S. spy satellite in February.

“This system works,” said Hicks, adding the success rate is good compared to other U.S. missiles.

On Dec. 17 off Kaua’i, the Japanese destroyer Kongo shot down a ballistic missile target, marking the first time that an allied naval ship successfully intercepted a target with the sea-based Aegis weapons system.

That target was a nonseparating simulated ballistic missile. Officials said yesterday’s target separated from a booster, making it harder to discriminate.

At 4:21 p.m., the ballistic missile target was launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility. The Japanese destroyer Chokai detected and tracked the target using an advanced on-board radar, according to the Missile Defense Agency.

The Pearl Harbor-based destroyer Paul Hamilton also participated in the test.

The Aegis Weapon System developed a fire-control solution, and at 4:24 p.m., a single SM-3 Block IA was launched. The Chokai was about 250 miles off Barking Sands in Kaua’i, and the intercept was to occur about 100 nautical miles above earth in the mid-course phase of the ballistic missile’s trajectory.

Approximately two minutes later, the SM-3 failed to intercept the target. The Chokai crew performance was “excellent” in executing the mission, according to the Missile Defense Agency.

The Japanese ship will stop in Pearl Harbor before returning to Japan with additional SM-3 Block 1A missiles.

Hicks said Aegis ballistic missile defense is a certified and deployed system in the U.S. Navy, and certified and operational in Japan’s navy.

Eighteen U.S. cruisers and destroyers and four Japanese ships are being outfitted with the Aegis ballistic missile defense capability.

On Nov. 1, during the exercise “Pacific Blitz,” the Hawai’i-based destroyers Hamilton and Hopper fired SM-3 missiles at separate targets launched from Kaua’i.

Above: USS Hopper

Hamilton scored a direct hit, while the missile fired by the Hopper missed its target, the Navy said.

Hicks yesterday said the missiles fired from the ships were older rounds going out of service, and the Navy took the opportunity to use them as training rounds “knowing that they carried a higher probability of failure.”

Japan-U.S. missile defense test fails

Japan-U.S. missile defense test fails

November 20, 2008

A Japanese warship failed to shoot down a ballistic missile target in a joint test with U.S. forces Wednesday because of a glitch in the final stage of an interceptor made by Raytheon Co, a U.S. military official said.

The kinetic warhead’s infrared “seeker” lost track in the last few seconds of the $55 million test, about 100 miles above Hawaiian waters, said U.S. Rear Admiral Brad Hicks, program director of the Aegis sea-based leg of an emerging U.S. anti-missile shield.

By Jim Wolf, Reuters

A missile is launched from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force ... 
A missile is launched from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force ship Chokai in the Pacific Ocean near Hawaii November 20, 2008.(Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force/Handout/Reuters)

“This was a failure,” he said in a teleconference with reporters. It brought the tally of Aegis intercepts to 16 in 20 tries.

The problem “hopefully was related just to a single interceptor,” not to a systemic issue with the Standard Missile-3 Block 1A, the same missile used in February to blow apart a crippled U.S. spy satellite, Hicks said.

Military officials from both countries said in a joint statement there was no immediate explanation for the botched intercept of a medium-range missile mimicking a potential North Korean threat. The test was paid for by Japan, Hicks said.

John Patterson, a spokesman at Raytheon Missile Systems in Tucson, Arizona, said the company would not comment pending the results of an engineering analysis of what may have gone wrong.
The test involved the Chokai, the second Japanese Kongo-class ship to be outfitted by the United States for missile defense, and a dummy missile fired from a range on the Hawaiian island of Kauai.

Above: Chokai

North Korea‘s test-firing of a ballistic missile over Japan in August 1998 spurred Tokyo to become the most active U.S. ally in building a layered shield against missiles that could be tipped with chemical, biological or nuclear warheads.

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Ballistic Missile Defense: Doing What Was Once Thought Impossible From Warships of U.S., Japan

November 3, 2008

Warships from the U.S. and Japan demonstrated anti-ballistic missile capability during the last week in tests that were breathtaking but not perfect.

Saddam Hussein sent a shock wave through the U.S. military and also into the hearts of U.S. allies in 1991 when he used SCUD ballistic missiles during Operation Desert Storm.

At the same time the U.S. Navy sent a shock wave through the U.S. defense establishment with the news that Navy AEGIS cruisers had tracked those Iraqi SCUDS and U.S.  warship computer systems at sea calculated everything needed to achieve precision intercepts of those hostile ballistic missiles.

Now the Navy of the United States and that of the forces of Japan are deployed with ballistic missile defense capability that is being refined, varified and tested continuously.

This last weekend, USS Paul Hamilton shot down a ballistic missile target in the mid-Pacific.  This was another success in a long and highly complex ballistic missile defense development in the U.S. Navy — and in the Navy of Japan.

USS Paul Hamilton.jpg
Above: USS Paul Hamilton

The following is from the Honolulu Advertiser:

By Diana Leone
A Japanese Navy ship, the JDS Chokai, has successfully tracked a ballistic missile launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kaua’i, the U.S. Missile Defense Agency said.

DDG-176 Choukai.jpg
Above: Chokai, of Japan’s Navy.

The tracking practice on Thursday was preparation for a mid-November test of the Chokai’s ability to shoot down a separating missile target, said Chris Taylor, agency spokesman.

The ship used on-board radar and data from other ships and shore command to calculate a “fire control solution” and simulate an intercept of the target by a Standard Missile-3, Taylor said.

The Chokai is the second Japanese ship to deploy the Aegis weapons system developed by the U.S. and used on U.S. Navy vessels as part of the country’s overall missile defense.

Japan’s ship, the Kongo, shot down a nonseparating target at the Pacific Missile Range Facility last December. The separating target is more complex, requiring the defensive missile to distinguish between the booster rocket and the warhead missile.

DDG173 JDS Kongo.jpg
Above: Kongo

U.S. ships have successfully shot down separating targets a number of times. The mid-November attempt by the Chokai will be the first for the Japanese.

The November test will draw a “surge” of about 500 Japanese and U.S. military and contractors to Kaua’i, said Tom Clements, missile facility spokesman.
In this image provided by the US Navy a ballistic threat target ... 
In this image provided by the US Navy a ballistic threat target missile is launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Barking Sands, Kauai, Hawaii, Saturday Nov. 1, 2008 enroute to an intercept over an open ocean area northwest of Kauai. The target missile was successfully intercepted by a Standard Missile – 3 (SM-3) launched from the Pearl Harbor-based guided-missile destroyer USS Paul Hamilton.
In this image provided by the US Navy a Standard Missile - 3 ... 
In this image provided by the US Navy a Standard Missile – 3 (SM-3) is launched from the Pearl Harbor-based guided-missile destroyer USS Paul Hamilton enroute to an intercept over an open ocean area northwest of Kauai, Hawaii Saturday Nov. 1, 2008. The SM-3 successfully collided with a ballistic missile target launched from the Pacific Missile Range Test Facility at Barking Sands, Kauai, Hawaii. However a second threat target missile was not successfully destroyed by the USS Hopper according to the Navy.

Ballistic Missile Defense: U.S. Navy Again Demonstrates Proven Success!

Japan To Provide Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense To Third Destroyer

January 15, 2008

Japan has contracted to provide Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) capability to the Aegis-equipped Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force destroyer JS Myoko.

JS Myoko is the third of four Japanese destroyers scheduled for outfitting with the Aegis BMD Weapon System.JS Kongo, which successfully intercepted a ballistic missile with its Aegis BMD Weapon System in a December test, was the first Japanese ship equipped with Aegis BMD.

Installation of Aegis BMD aboard the second destroyer, JS Chokai, is under way in Nagasaki, Japan.

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