2012 Technology Achievement Award Winner
FTM-15 Flight Test Team
From left to right: Dr. Eric Hedlund, representing the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense Program Office; Mr. Bryan Bolt, representing the Targets and Countermeasures Program Office; Dr. Bob Henderson, representing the Engineering Program Office and the Mitre Corporation; Mr. Dave Morton, representing the Test Program Office; Mr. William Stewart, standing in for Mr. James O'Neill, representing the Sensors Program Office.
On April 15, 2011, the FTM-15 Flight Test Team successfully detected, tracked, and intercepted a long-range LV-2 target over the Pacific Ocean. This test was an extraordinarily complex feat and was instrumental in validating the President's Phased Adaptive Approach (PAA) to the defense of Europe and our allies.
FTM-15 demonstrated the capability of an Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) equipped ship to engage an intermediate-range ballistic missile using track information from an up-range Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) sensor, thereby extending the battlespace, winning back critical reaction time, and enabling a longer-range intercept.
Due to the extended range of the target, the Aegis BMD version 3.6.1-associated engagement space, and the sensor and data collector scenario laydown, an unprecedented number of participants were actively involved in the planning, execution, and analysis of FTM-15. The planning and execution efforts were unequaled in a BMDS test: over 600 participants from over 26 separate offices and agencies. As a result, the coordination of schedules, assets, and analyses was critical, and was conducted under constant scrutiny from the highest levels of leadership. The pre-mission engineering analysis objective was unique in Missile Defense Agency (MDA) flight test history and the system under test (i.e., the Spaced-based Infrared System; AN/TPY-2; Command, Control, Battle Management, and Communications (C2BMC); Aegis BMD version 3.6.1; and the LV-2 target) was unparalleled. The entire FTM-15 Flight Test Team responded brilliantly, and exercised numerous scenarios and laydowns in order to provide the most realistic and effective way in which to validate the full capability of the deployed Aegis BMD version 3.6.1 system. This diverse team produced a plan that exercised an architecture that provided an opportunity to utilize a forward-deployed, off-board sensor that supplied a valid, coherent track with a level of fi delity to enable the USS O'KANE (DDG 77) to engage the threat-realistic target before obtaining an organic track. The resultant lethal intercept of the intermediate-range ballistic missile target by the SM-3 Block IA, with the AN/TPY-2 sensor providing up-range track data processed and forwarded by MDA's C2BMC network, was groundbreaking.
The successful execution of FTM-15 proved the capability of MDA to provide the foundation for the President's PAA, and is a superlative example of technological achievement in missile defense.