Navy Area Theater Ballistic Missile Defense launch first of eight engineering and manufacturing development flight tests
     The Navy Area Theater Ballistic Missile Defense (TBMD) Program conducted a successful controlled test flight of the Standard Missile 2 (SM-2), Block IVA TBMD and Anti-Air Warfare multi-role missile. The flight, designated "Control Test Vehicle One" (CTV-1), took place at the White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.

     The test flight took place at 11:20 a.m. (EDT) over the central portion of the national missile range. The CTV-1 test flight was an engineering evaluation of the Navy Area TBMD SM-2 Block IVA missile guidance, auto-pilot, and aerodynamic stability, and did not require the use of a target. Program engineers will review data from the CTV-1 test event and incorporate their findings into the design of the SM-2 Block IVA before proceeding to the next phase of the flight test program. A similar test, CTV-2, is scheduled for later this summer.

     Today’s test was the first in a planned series of eight engineering and manufacturing development flight tests to be conducted at White Sands Missile Range over the next 18 months, before proceeding to formal technical and operational evaluations at the Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) in Hawaii from Pearl Harbor Base AEGIS ships. The program’s test strategy will validate the SM-2 Block IVA missile design and performance parameters and demonstrate the Navy’s ability to intercept short-medium range ballistic missile targets, as well as aircraft and cruise missiles, with the new SM-2 Block IVA missile. The test series flights will progress in complexity and will provide the data needed to produce the first Navy Area Theater Ballistic Missile Defense weapon system.

     The Navy Area TBMD Program builds upon the well proven SM-2 missile family and the Aegis Weapon System including its vertical launch capability which is currently on over 50, and planned for 79, Aegis cruisers and destroyers. The SM-2 Block IVA missile maintains key capabilities of earlier versions of the SM-2 missile, while adding a TBMD capability.

     The Ballistic Missile Defense Organization and the Navy are co-sponsors in the development of the Navy TBMD capability. The Navy’s Program Executive Officer for Theater Surface Combatants manages the Navy’s Area TBMD Program. Raytheon Missile Systems, Tucson Arizona, is the prime contractor for the development and production of the SM-2 Block IVA Missile. Lockheed Martin Naval Electronic and Surveillance Systems, Moorestown, New Jersey, is the prime contractor for the Aegis Weapon. Lockheed Martin (in Baltimore) is the prime contractor for Vertical Launch Systems.

Posted 6 July 2000