It was a critical test of how well the U.S. Navy’s newest stealth destroyer can defend itself.
The goal: To use a SM-2 interceptor to destroy a target acting as a cruise missile. The challenge: To ensure the radar, the launch system, the ship’s computers and the interceptor itself all worked together, and that the ship could withstand the shock and vibration of the interceptor’s launch.
In the first such test over Naval Air Weapons Center Weapons Division Sea Test Range near Point Mugu, California, a Raytheon Missiles & Defense SM-2 interceptor destroyed an anti-ship cruise missile target at sea. The test demonstrated how well USS Zumwalt could detect, track and engage the threat target with an SM-2.
“Today’s successful test not only demonstrates the ship’s capability to fire missiles and conduct self-defense, it is also a significant step toward more advanced combat system testing and operations for our Navy’s most technically innovative warship,” said Capt. Matt Schroeder, DDG 1000 program manager.