Video: Navy Ship Intercepts Ballistic Missile at Foreign Range

Caption: The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71) fires a Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) to intercept a short-range ballistic missile target, Oct. 20, 2015, in the north Atlantic Ocean. (U.S. Navy photo by Mike Wright)Caption: The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71) fires a Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) to intercept a short-range ballistic missile target, Oct. 20, 2015, in the north Atlantic Ocean. (U.S. Navy photo by Mike Wright)

The U.S. Navy has released video showing the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG-71) taking out a ballistic missile near Scotland.

The Oct. 20 exercise in the North Atlantic Ocean was billed as the first time a Navy ship shot down a ballistic defense missile at a foreign range.

The video shows a Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IA guided interceptor launching from the deck of the ship before it successfully intercepted a short-range Terrier Orion ballistic missile fired from the Hebridges Range in Scotland, according to the Navy.

Check out the video below:

The SM-3 was one of two anti-ship cruise missiles launched at the target, the Navy said in a press release. The USS The Sullivans (DDG 68) also fired an SM-2 during the exercise.

About the Author

Brendan McGarry
Brendan McGarry is the managing editor of He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter at @Brendan_McGarry.
  • Dfens

    It’s impossible to hit a missile with a missile. Prominent scientists swore under oath that it was impossible in front of Congress. One more example of the lack of accountability that plagues this nation.

    • Shockwave

      And yet, we’ve done it. Several times in fact.

      Those of you saying it can’t be done need to get out of the way of those of us doing it.

    • JAB

      Shockwave is correct. Actually it was done during the Homing Overlay Experiment at Lockheed over 30 years ago. Check this out.. .

      • blight_

        Wonder what happened to that radial net…

    • Chuck Bryant

      The SM3 has a exploding warhead, with a proximity fuse. So as long it is the “zone” target destroyed.

    • Ray

      Riiiight. Of course, a scientist said it so it has to be true. Do you have any personal knowledge of missle guidance or ballistics?? Google doesnt count either.

    • Grant

      If it wasn’t possible… I wouldn’t be here to write this response. Circa. March 2003, Iraqi Silkworm missile intercepted by U.S. Patriot missile. In two specific instances, Iraqi Silkworm missiles were launched at Camp Doha, Kuwait. I was there… I heard the launch and the impacts of the Patriots intercepting the Silkworms. Trajectory was Camp Doha. Quite possible.

    • BillBow

      You actually sound disappointed. Just consider it something else to steal.

    • LeScipia

      “hitting it” here means causing it to go off course or break up mid air,as fast as those things travel it wouldnt take much damage to the structure to accomplish that plus no telling if they may be using a gamma burst with the anti missle missle,,,,on the negative side there also could be anti missle missle missles built into the anti ship missle,,,, the fun never ends

      • lescipia

        as an example a mustang 2 aircraft lost control and crashed into the crowd at the reno air races a couple yrs ago because an elevator trim tab broke loose and started fluttering, it was going about 250 mph,and it was human piloted, these missles travel at least super sonic to more like 2000 mph,a ding in the skin can cause it to go off course at those speeds

    • spartan

      “Impossible” is too strong a word. Luck is always a factor. I think you are misquoting them.

      However, Interception doesn’t mean hitting a missile with a missile. You use fragmentation warheads with a proximity fuse.

      Only idiots would try to design for direct impact. And only bigger idiots would deploy “direct impact” missiles.

  • anomyous coward

    From the link:
    There are a number of firsts associated with this event including:
    First intercept of a ballistic missile target in the European theater
    First SM-3 fired on a non-U.S. range
    The first firing of an SM-2 and SM-3 on the Hebrides Range, United Kingdom
    First use of multi-national beyond line of sight link architecture for IAMD purposes in the European theater
    First international ship (Netherlands and Spain) transmissions of BMD cues to a U.S. BMD guided missile destroyer
    First time coalition IAMD used in a scenario with simultaneous attack from anti-ship cruise and ballistic missiles

    So really this is the first time that our integrated ABM could in theory actually work over Europe …. and take out a small amount of incoming missiles. Just hope its not a massive launch, without decoys or MIRVs.

    The reason why there was an ABM treaty was to keep the need for oversaturation of nuclear weapons down. Now with the imaginary threat of this European umbrella Tzar Putin will have more of a reason to throw more weight down range if things hit the fan. (I mean in theory)

  • kashmiri

    “Intercepts ballistic missile”… What about intercepting cruise missiles?

  • Ironic

    We go on to other countries’ land, water and saying that we are protecting our country. Very interesting concept.

  • Beno

    Well this was a UK test range, and a NATO exercise, being British myself, I can say with a very high degree of certainly we are fine with it.

  • Robbie

    This is a major breakthrough in countering the Chinese investment in access denial missiles intended to push our carriers out of attack range.

    • Alex

      Should show proof by intercepting multiple like 20-ish or more war heads then.

  • Buddha

    The issue isn’t whether it is “possible”, it is whether it is reproducible and likely to shoot down an incoming BM in actual real-world “combat” situations. Sure, if you know exactly when and where the BM is being launched from, and your ship is in perfect intercept position and the crew and tracking radars all in top form ready for the “test”, and there is only a single incoming missile at a time to track, it demonstrably is “possible” to hit an incoming BM. In a real world situation though? Color me skeptical. In a real-world situation, your first notice anything is incoming is probably as the BM is already on its descent, there likely is more than one missile inbound, and each missile itself may have multiple MIRV’s and decoys that were deployed…and you’ve got to get your crew at battle-stations, ABM’s armed and launched, all in a matter of a handful of seconds? Yeah, and I’m a Chinese Jet Pilot.

  • Leon

    The person that is worried about the other countries is also the one that probobly does not know anything about Nato or why it exists

  • zoro

    Bravo! Aegis is now as good ad the now-defunct I-HAWK. The USMC conducted a live-fire test at White Sands Missile Range many years ago (10 to 15) where the simultaneously intercepted a short-range ballistic missile and an air-breathing threat. Something tells me Patriot has done this before too.

  • Edward

    In Europe now? bet Russia is taking NOTES!!!

    • Rubberneck

      Let ’em, That’s a feat they can’t emulate. The sailors drilled hard prior to the exercise. They accomplished the missile intercept because they’re the best in the world at what they do

    • Beno

      THE POINT is to let the world see these capabilities and that NATO CAN ACTUALLY do what it say’s.

      It proves to the world very visually and openly what we can do. And this is the point of a deterrence posture to defence. This kind of thing PREVENTS war, because we don’t keep the capability secret ( we keep the technology secret yes )

      Better to stop wars before they start by showing capabilities, and keep you enemies assured that they cant win, rather than keeping things secret from enemies , when they get a false sense of security, end up suspecting they might win and trying it.

      In war, people die, best we never go there if possible.

  • interested person

    What about the so called carrier killer ballistic missiles that China has been building? Those were supposed to be more lethal. If china launched say several waves from different points in China could we stop them from hitting a carrier in the constrained ocean between taiwan and china?

  • Dman

    The ordinance closes on the target and when within range emits a EMP and then explodes, causing enough of a guidance system failure that the target basically comes apart due to failure of structural integrity .

    • Ordnance

      ordnance…not a rule or law ordinance…..

  • moose knuckles

    Israel shoots rockets and missles down all the time with iron dome.

  • moose knuckles

    Israel shoots rockets and missles down all the time with irondome.

  • moose knuckles

    Israel knocks rockets and missles down all the time with irondome.

  • John

    We have had anti missile capabilities for 20 years. The patriot, avenger and THAD missile systems are designed to do just that at varying distances and altitudes.

  • spurlockda

    Lasers are working now also!

  • ron

    Hey Americans,, thanks for your resRonald.. but know that those making class about “it can’t become” are actually foreign nationals seeking to learn how to do it.. please stop specifying details and methods

  • chris

    “The SM-3 was one of two anti-ship cruise missiles launched at the target”

    Confused… the SM-3 is the SAM/ABM fired by theBurke, surely, and that is not a cruise missile. If you mean the missiles that were the target, they were’t SM-3’s either, as you explain (Terrier)

  • Beef Stick

    Congratulations to USS Ross !

  • Herbert

    The target missile has a ceiling limit of 150 miles, but flew around 100 mil at its apogee for this mission so the small SM-3 could reach it. This has been done in all tests because the SM-3 hasn’t half the range to hit an ICBM or IRBM like those Russia or Iran or N Korea might use. They arc some 300 miles overhead, so the SM-3 is useless against them and the entire European missile defense concept is a fraud.

  • klw

    Doesn’t the Patriot system actually hit the missile?

  • Curt

    Wow, a missile designed to hit a Medium Range Ballistic missile can’t hit an ICBM. What is the world coming to. I guess that is why it’s called Theater Ballistic Missile Defense. Next you’ll claim that THAAD can’t intercept ICBMs or that Patriot/SM2/SM6 can only intercept missiles within the atmosphere.

  • Dfens

    They all do.