On March 28, the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) successfully demonstrated the first track of a live space object by the AN/SPY-7(V)1 solid state radar integrated with the Aegis Weapon System (AWS). This milestone event for the Japanese Aegis System Equipped Vessel (ASEV) program was also observed by the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) and U.S. Navy Aegis Technical Representative.

During the tracking event, which was performed at Lockheed Martin’s Production Test Center in Moorestown, New Jersey, the SPY-7 radar tactical hardware and software detected and tracked objects in space, and then passed data to the AWS for further processing.

MDA Director Lieutenant General Heath Collins said, “With the successful tracking of a space object by the SPY-7 radar, MDA has proved that The Aegis Weapon System with SPY-7 is ready to enter into an integrated testing phase with the ultimate objective to provide increased capability for Japan to defend against regional missile threats.”

The SPY-7 radar with the AWS will be installed and fielded on two newly-constructed JMSDF vessels, for which Japan Ministry of Defense is targeting March 2028 and March 2029 for commissioning.

The SPY-7(V)1 radar uses scaled equipment and software derived from the MDA’s advanced Long Range Discriminating Radar (LRDR) located in Clear, Alaska.

By Editor