In a test, the U.S. Navy successfully intercepted a ballistic missile in space. The interceptor was launched from the deck of the destroyer USS Paul Ignatius, with advanced SMART-L radar, manufactured by Thales, and an SM-3 interceptor operated for the test.
The Shephard News website reported that the test was held June 3 as part of the Shield 2021 exercise. The radar installed on a frigate of the Netherlands Royal Navy automatically detected and tracked the ballistic missile for five minutes, with the missile reaching a cruising speed of three kilometers a second at an altitude of more than 300km.
Fifteen ships and planes from various countries participated in the exercise. The test also examined the possibility of intercepting a supersonic sea-skimming missile, and a combined sea and air scenario in which enemy planes were tracked at the same time as a ballistic missile threat. The missile used during the test can intercept targets at altitudes of 400km.