BARKING SANDS, Kauai, Hawaii Oct. 29 - Riki Ellison, Founder and Chairman of the
Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance (MDAA), has commented on the results of the successful Japanese missile intercept from the JS Kirishima
off the coast of Kauai, Hawaii and its significance. Ellison is one of
the top foremost lay experts in the field of missile defense in the
world. His comments include the following:
"Against the back drop
of the Kauai Eternal Veteran Memorial & Missile Defense Viewing site
at the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Barking Sands, Hawaii, a
three-stage medium-range target missile holding a warhead, which
contained a few hundred pounds of explosives, shot brilliantly across
the Hawaiian sky. The target missile traveled west rising up to 130
miles up in space with a maximum distance of approximately 900 miles."
"A few hundred miles west of Kauai, the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) destroyer JS Kirishima (DDG-174) patrolled the waters defending an area of ocean another few hundred miles further west. The JS Kirishima is one of only four Japanese Kongo class destroyers equipped with Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (Aegis BMD)."
"Without assistance, the Japanese crew of the JS Kirishima
tracked the speeding target with the ship's AN/SPY-1 radar and
processed a firing solution to intercept the incoming missile. Once a
firing solution had been achieved, the combat systems crew of the JS Kirishima launched a U.S. made Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block 1A missile at the target."
three-stage SM-3 Block 1A missile screamed towards the target at close
to 3km/s, locating and completely destroying the medium-range target
missile. The missile's kill vehicle slammed into the target with a
combined closing velocity of approximately twenty times the speed of
sound, close to 130 miles up in space. Impact and destruction of the
target missile happened three minutes (5:09PM HST / 11:09PM EST) after
the target missile launch (5:06PM HST / 11:06PM EST)."
"This exercise clearly orchestrated the geometry and physics of a successful and realistic demonstration of Japan's Kongo
Class destroyer's ability to defend the homeland and population of
Japan from a medium-range ballistic missile launched by North Korea."
"The JS Kirishima will soon join her three other Aegis BMD equipped sister ships (JS Kongo, JS Chokai and JS Myoko)
who have all been outfitted in Hawaii and tested there annually over
the past 4 years. These ships will be patrolling the waters between
Japan and North Korea offering substantial 24/7 protection to their
country against ballistic missile threats from North Korea. The allied
force of the JMSDF combined with U.S. Aegis BMD ships from the Navy's
7th Fleet, which currently patrol the international waters between Japan
and North Korea, provide a formidable deterrent for the protection of
Japan and U.S. forces located there."
"South Korea and Australia
watched this test with keen interest. They are two additional Pacific
Rim U.S. allies that are interested in building BMD ship capabilities
for similar reasons of deterrence and homeland protection. Australia
would also use the BMD capability to protect its troops deployed away
"It is of note that this week Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton visited Hawaii and Admiral Robert Willard, Commander,
U.S. Pacific Command headquartered in Hawaii, will have missile defense
as an additional tool of deterrence for the U.S. diplomatic efforts in
stabilizing the Far East region during a presumed upcoming transition of
leadership and power in North Korea."
"Our nation and world are
safer with allies and friends such as Japan who have missile defense
capabilities and are capable of sharing the cost and responsibility."