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12:03 PM, October 21, 2015
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US Navy, Allies Test-Intercept Targets With Raytheon's SM-3 Missile System
Raytheon-made Standard Missile-3 Block IIA

The US military and eight allied nations on Tuesday have test-intercepted dummy ballistic and cruise missiles with Raytheon's Standard Missile-3 Block IA guided interceptor.

The test is an important first demonstration of that capability in Europe, various media reported Wednesday.

It was the first time that a SM-3 Block IA guided interceptor was fired on a non-US range, and the first intercept of a ballistic missile threat target in Europe.

A Dutch ship tracked the target and relayed targeting information to the USS Ross, a US Navy Aegis ship.

The long-planned test involved ships from the US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, and Britain.

The test took place as Russia stepped up its use of cruise missiles against IS militants in Syria.

“The test carried out by the Maritime Theater Missile Defense Forum showed the group's ability to "safely conduct effective coalition sea-based defense against simultaneous anti-ship and ballistic missile threats.", said Admiral Mark Ferguson, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa

 “The test showed that other countries' navies could track and relay targeting and firing information about potential missile threats to US Navy ships.”  Riki Ellison, founder of the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance, said.

That means the US Navy can reduce the number of ships it needs for missile defense missions in the Mediterranean, instead using allied ships to help relay missile threat tracking and targeting information, he said.

"It proves that sensors from another country's ship can be used to give the Navy early warning of potential threats, and those ships can be used to protect American ships," Ellison said.

The US Navy ships need protective escorts because they cannot protect themselves when they are carrying out missile defense missions, he said.

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