United States and Australia collaborate on integrated air and missile defence Test

29 March 2024

Australia supported the United States (US) as it undertook a successful missile defence test off the coast of Hawaii. 

Royal Australian Navy and Royal Australian Air Force assets supported the test conducted by the US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and the US Navy.

The US test involved the successful intercept of a medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM) test target.

This was the US MDA’s most complex test to date against a priority threat target and demonstrated the capability of the Aegis Weapon System to detect, track, engage, and intercept an MRBM target in the terminal phase of flight.

During the test, Australia demonstrated its advanced radar capabilities aboard a Navy vessel, HMAS Stuart, while a RAAF E-7 Wedgetail assisted in data collection and communications. 

Quotes attributable to Chief of Joint Operations, Lieutenant General Greg Bilton AO CSC:

“This was a unique opportunity to work closely with the US Missile Defense Agency and US Navy as they tested the Aegis Weapon System’s ability to detect, track and defend against short-to-medium range ballistic missiles, while we simultaneously observed the performance of our own systems.

“It is a great example of our deepening defence engagement with the US and an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the Australian Defence Force’s interoperability with the US Navy.”

Quotes attributable to US Missile Defense Agency Director Lieutenant General Heath Collins: 

“This successful intercept against an advanced threat-representative target in the final stages of flight demonstrated the power and flexibility of the Aegis Weapons System. 

“The Missile Defense Agency is very grateful and honored to have had Australia participate in this important test and we look forward to working together with all of our allies on future collaborations to detect and maintain deterrence in the Indo-Pacific.”

Media note

Media will be able to access imagery at http://images.defence.gov.au/S20240755 and https://www.mda.mil/news/gallery_aegis.html

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