A egis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) is both the Navy element of the Missile Defense Agency (MDA), as well as a field activity of the Naval Sea Systems Command. Rear Admiral Johnny Wolfe is the Program Executive, Aegis BMD and Commander, Aegis BMD Field Activity. The Aegis BMD Program Office is located in the Rear Admiral David M. Altwegg Aegis BMD Complex consisting of buildings 1705 and 1705A. The Program Office is manned by 21 military, 278 government civilians and 300 contractor support personnel. Aegis BMD consists of four programs, covering the entire acquisition process. The programs entail technology development, advanced engineering system integration, international cooperative missile development, shipboard and ashore installation, test, certification, deployment and maintenance.



The Aegis BMD Program can be traced back to a tracking anomaly aboard USS MOBILE BAY (CG 53) in January 1991. USS MOBILE BAY was on station in the Persian Gulf conducting Anti-Air Warfare (AAW) operations in support of Operation Desert Storm. While the shipboard air search radar, AN/SPY-1, was radiating far into Kuwait and Iraq searching for enemy aircraft, an unknown object was detected and tracked, flying a trajectory that no plane could possibly fly. Analysis determined that the SPY-1 radar had detected and tracked a Scud ballistic missile. Further studies and successful demonstrations led to the establishment of the Aegis BMD Program.


Aegis BMD Roles

Aegis BMD is the naval element of the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS). It builds upon and extends capabilities inherent in the Aegis Weapon System (AWS), Standard Missile (SM) and Navy Command and Control systems. Aegis BMD provides ballistic missile engagement capability against short to intermediate range, unitary and separating, ballistic missiles both above and within the atmosphere. The engagement capability is integrated into a weapon system configuration that also includes the Long Range Surveillance and Track functionality. Due to this capability, another mission for Aegis BMD is a forward deployed sensor to search, detect and track ballistic missiles of all ranges and then transmit the track data to all elements of the BMDS.

In support of requirements outlined in a Naval Force Structure and Missile Defense Report to Congress, Aegis BMD ships provide the Combatant Commanders (COCOMs) with significant flexibility to meet changing operational demands. Aegis BMD ships are mobile, have the ability to operate independently of foreign sovereignty, enjoy relative freedom from reliance on overseas bases, are forward deployed and sustain themselves for months. From designated at-sea stations, Aegis BMD ships can provide a highly survivable, robust BMD force to support National missions. The multi-mission ships carry-out other traditional naval missions such as Anti-Air Warfare, Surface Warfare, Anti-Submarine Warfare and Strike Warfare while simultaneously providing BMD support for COCOM naval requirements.

“MDA is strongly committed to further enhancing capability of the Aegis BMD weapon system to give Sailors the tools needed to successfully execute their mission.”

Vice Admiral J. D. Syring, U.S. Navy

Director, Missile Defense Agency

Testimony before Senate Appropriations


March 18, 2015


European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA)

Aegis BMD is the cornerstone of the Phased Adaptive Approach for missile defense of Europe. With the United States’ commitment to deploy technology that is proven, cost-effective and adaptable to an evolving security environment, Aegis BMD Weapon Systems and SM-3 upgrades are being phased into deployed Aegis BMD ships and land-based facilities during this decade. Each AWS and SM-3 upgrade provides more capability for countering evolving ballistic missile threats, engaging increasingly longer range and more sophisticated threat ballistic missiles launched in large raid sizes.


Technical Directorate

The Technical Directorate focuses on all engineering disciplines. Responsible for all programmatic technical standards, processes, and procedures, the Technical Directorate interfaces with MDA’s Engineering and Test Directorates. The Directorate evaluates and coordinates the exploration of advanced and evolutionary system concepts to fulfill future mission needs. Through the results of trade studies, critical experiments are conducted to demonstrate advanced technology and integrated system engineering. Future efforts include advanced radar discrimination in support of Homeland Defense, raid defense in an Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) multi-ship, multi-BMDS element environment and technology improvements to the shipboard radar and missiles to increase defended area of high value assets and population centers.


Aegis BMD Weapon System with IAMD

The Aegis BMD Weapon System Directorate is responsible for the design, development, testing, BMDS integration and fielding of all Aegis BMD Weapon Systems.

In March 2011, Aegis BMD fulfilled all their responsibilities of the Presidential Directive regarding EPAA Phase 1 when the USS MONTEREY (CG 61), configured with the Aegis BMD 3.6.1 Weapon System and armed with SM-3 Block IA missiles, was deployed to Europe. This AWS configuration has been upgraded and is being maintained until ships are scheduled to receive the EPAA Phase 2 upgrade.

For EPAA Phase 2, the Navy is upgrading Aegis destroyers by modernizing each ship’s AWS’s ability to track and defeat ballistic missiles and combat more traditional AAW threats via the IAMD capability. To incorporate BMD functionality, Aegis BMD 5.0 Capability Upgrade (CU) functionality has been integrated into the Navy’s Aegis Baseline 9 Weapon System.

Modernized Aegis destroyers will shed their 1980s era military specified computers, completely strip-out the ship’s combat information center and install a new series of commercial off-the-self servers to process the targeting information from the ship’s SPY-1 radar. Baseline 9 ships receive a new Multi-Mission Signal Processor, capable of operating in IAMD modes to schedule SPY-1 radar resources. USS JOHN PAUL JONES (DDG 53) was the first Aegis destroyer to receive the Baseline 9 upgrade and has the distinction of assuming the responsibility as the Aegis BMD test ship, relieving USS LAKE ERIE (CG 70). In November 2014, USS JOHN PAUL JONES successfully conducted the first IAMD simultaneous raid engagements of a ballistic missile and two AAW targets in Flight Test Standard Missile-25.

Delivery of Aegis BMD system capability to fully meet the EPAA Phase 3 objectives is aligned with Baseline 9.C2 (BMD 5.1) system development. This BMD Baseline development integrates the SM-3 Block IIA missile, provides a robust Engage On Remote (EOR) sensor data capability, and implements significant improvements in the Sea-Based Terminal (SBT) atmospheric engagement capability.


SM-3 Missile Block Development Directorate

The Missile Directorate is responsible for the design, development, testing, BMDS integration, deployment and recertification of Aegis BMD missiles (SM-3 Blocks IA, IB and IIA) to meet COCOM tactical requirements and EPAA objectives on Aegis ships and Aegis Ashore sites.

For EPAA Phase 1, Aegis BMD ships are on-station armed with SM-3 Block IA guided missiles. The SM-3 Block IA missile has concluded production and recertification efforts are underway.

A series of intercept firings were successfully conducted for the SM-3 Block IB scheduled for EPAA Phase 2, resulting in Commander, Operational Test and Evaluation Force’s assessment of “operationally effective and suitable” for deployment. SM-3 Block IB is in production and being delivered to the Fleet today.

Regarding future efforts, the U.S. and Japan have a mutual interest in the evolutionary development of improvements to the SM-3 guided missile by increasing the missile’s range and the probability of kill against a larger threat set for EPAA Phase 3. The countries have partnered in the SM-3 Cooperative Development Project to support the development and initial at-sea flight testing of the SM-3 IIA missile. The joint project has conducted ground testing of several missile assemblies. A successful restrained firing has been completed and the first fly-out flight test of the propulsion stack was successfully executed in October 2013. The successful execution of these two major test events demonstrates that the project is progressing as planned towards its initial flight test later this year.


Aegis Ashore (AA) Directorate

As a critical component of the EPAA, AA Directorate provides the design, development, testing, BMDS integration and fielding of the AA capabilities. To complement the number of ships conducting BMD patrol for defense of Europe, the naval Aegis BMD capability will be deployed ashore at two locations in Europe, Romania (EPAA Phase 2, in 2015) and Poland (EPAA Phase 3, in 2018). AA re-hosts the BMD components of an Aegis BMD Destroyer in an ashore configuration, providing BMD capability against short, medium and intermediate range ballistic missiles. To verify proper fire control operations and range safety upgrades, the Aegis Ashore Missile Defense Training Complex at Pacific Missile Range Facility conducted a Controlled Test Vehicle firing in May 2014. The first Aegis Ashore flight test intercept will be conducted later this year.

The AA Deckhouse has been constructed in Romania. Aegis Baseline 9 weapon system equipment is being installed, concluding with light-off and equipment checkout followed by site activation before the end of this year. Site preparations for Poland will commence in FY 2016.


Sea Based Terminal (SBT) Directorate

The SBT Directorate provides the design, development, testing, BMDS integration and fielding of all increments of SBT capability of the SM-6 guided missile to protect maritime forces against advanced anti-ship ballistic missiles and to protect forces and other assets ashore. Using an incremental development approach, a BMD capability has been incorporated into the AAW variant of the SM-6. Testing of the first increment of the SM-6 SBT capability is scheduled later this year.

Aegis BMD is developing, delivering, training and sustaining Integrated Air and Missile Defense for the Fleet and Joint Warfighter!