JDS Kirishima, October 29th, 2010. U.S. Navy photo.

Kirishima did it, successfully shooting down an Orbital Sciences Medium Range Target launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility, on the Hawaiian island of Kauai. Here’s the Missile Defense Agency press release:

Joint Japan-U.S. Missile Defense Flight Test Successful The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) and the United States Missile Defense Agency (MDA) announced the successful completion of an Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) intercept flight test, in cooperation with the U.S. Navy, off the coast of Kauai in Hawaii.

The event marked the fourth time that a JMSDF ship has engaged a ballistic missile target, including three successful intercepts, with the sea-based midcourse engagement capability provided by Aegis BMD.

The JFTM-4 test event verified the newest engagement capability of the Japan Aegis BMD configuration of the recently upgraded Japanese destroyer, JS KIRISHIMA. At approximately 5:06 p.m. (HST), 12:06 p.m. Tokyo time on Oct. 29, 2010, a separating 1,000 km class ballistic missile target was launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility at Barking Sands, Kauai, Hawaii.

JS KIRISHIMA crew members detected and tracked the target. The Aegis Weapon System then developed a fire control solution and launched a Standard Missile -3 (SM-3) Block IA missile. Approximately three minutes later, the SM-3 successfully intercepted the target approximately 100 miles above the Pacific Ocean. JFTM-4 is a significant milestone in the growing cooperation between Japan and the U.S. in the area of missile defense.

Also participating in the test was USS LAKE ERIE and USS RUSSELL, Aegis ships which cooperated to detect, track and conduct a simulated intercept engagement against the same target.

Video of the shot here.

Here’s another video on YouTube of JFTM-3, an identical test carried out a year ago with JDS Myoko. (Oddly, Lockheed Martin is promoting this video on Twitter as from today’s event.) Despite the gaffe — or whatever it is — it’s a good overview of what happens during the test.

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A contributor and editor at the blog War Is Boring, Kyle Mizokami started Japan Security Watch in 2010 to further understand Japan's defenses and security policy.
Kyle Mizokami has 596 post(s) on Japan Security Watch