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Aegis Ashore with SM-3 Block IB
Aegis Ashore
Quick Facts
Future land-based variant of the ship-based Aegis BMD
Expected to track and intercept ballistic missiles in their midcourse phase of flight
Future Capabilities include early intercept and engage-on-remote features
Announced in 2009 as part of the European Phased Adaptive Approach (PAA)
Lockheed Martin
Aegis SPY-1 radar
Command and control system
Vertical launching system (VLS)
SM-3 missiles
Removable enclosures to facilitate worldwide deployment
Expected first deployment of the Aegis Ashore with SM-3 block IB in FY2015 
According to the Director of the Missile Defense Agency (MDA), the idea of Aegis Ashore preceded the new European PAA policy. Earlier in 2008 and 2009 MDA had been studying alternatives to the Arrow 3 program — a joint US-Israeli program designed for Israeli self-defense against short-range ballistic missiles. MDA’s analysis had considered several land-based SM-3 options, and had concluded that an Aegis with SM-3 was the preferred option.

The President’s announcement of the European PAA on September 17, 2009 officially began Aegis Ashore, and MDA placed Aegis Ashore directly into the third acquisition development phase—product development. The system will require some modifications for land-based configuration. The Aegis Ashore expects to leverage the existing shipboard Aegis Combat System—comprised of 32 sensors, communications, weapons, and countermeasures. However only 11 of these will be reused for Aegis Ashore; the remaining 21 will need to be suppressed or otherwise disabled.
Both the SPY-1 radar and the VLS are being assessed and were deemed as flight proven through successful mission conditions, reflecting the assessment of the radar and VLS currently at sea. However, these systems will operate on land, so it is still under scrutiny to fully account fot the radar's spectrum supportability. Also, the VLS will be modified to address the differing protection, safety, and environmental requirements of its new land-based environment.  
Development Stage
  • Flight tests will be conducted at the Aegis Ashore Missile Defense Test Complex at Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii.
  • Each test will increase the operational realism and complexity of targets and scenarios and will be witnessed by Navy and Defense Department test agents.
  • Integrates advances in sensor technology such as launch of an SM-3 missile in response to remote sensor data.
  • Defeats short- to intermediate-range ballistic missile threats with the SM-3.
  • The first land-based missile test will be fired in 2014.
  • Future capability upgrades incorporated in association with Aegis BMD Program of Record.
Plans for Deployment
  • In 2015, Aegis Ashore will install a system in Romania, as part of the PAA Phase II. This deployed capability will use Aegis BMD 5.0.1 and SM-3 Block IB to provide ballistic missile coverage of Southern Europe.
  • In 2018, Aegis Ashore will install a system in Poland, as part of the PAA Phase III. This deployed capability will use Aegis BMD 5.1 and SM-3 Block IB and IIA to support defense of Northern Europe.
  • In 2021, Aegis Ashore systems will be upgraded with the future variants of Aegis BMD and SM-3.
Aegis Ashore has not yet completed some of the activities MDA outlines for its first two development phases (material solutions analysis and technology development), and is executing others concurrently with activities in the third development phase (product development). Aegis Ashore has not yet:
  • Obtained an independent cost estimate
  • Prepared a life cycle cost estimate
  • Demonstrated critical technologies in the operational environment (land)
  • Ensured interoperability and integration with the larger BMDS   
The number of planned developmental flight test events has been reduced since the Aegis Ashore program began and they are not timed to inform production decisions. In MDA’s February 2010 test plan Aegis Ashore was scheduled to participate in 7 developmental flight test events, 5 of which were intercept events. The current plan is for 4 test events, 2 of which are intercepts. Follow link for more information on the plans for Aegis Ashore Flight Test Events.

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