The target was detected and tracked using the Space Tracking and Surveillance System-Demonstrators (STSS-D) satellite constellation, an experimental cluster of 2 satellites equipped with sensors capable of detecting visible and infrared light.
The STSS-D satellites in turn forwarded the data to the USS Lake Erie (CG70), equipped with a second-generation Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) system, which launched a SM-3 missile to shoot down the target.
The SM-3 missile is launched from the Mk 41 Vertical Launch System (VLS) and was developed from the SM-2 by Raytheon for anti-ballistic and anti-satellite use, including exoatmospheric intercepts.
The hit-to-kill SM-3 missile destroys its target using the kinetic impact force of the Lightweight Exo-Atmospheric Projectile (LEAP) warhead.
The current SM-3 Block IA can be used against:
- short range ballistic missiles (SRBM) with range up to 1000 km
- medium range ballistic missiles (MRBM) between 1000 and 3000 km
- intermediate range ballistic missiles (IRBM) between 3000 and 5500 km
The USS Lake Erie is a Ticonderoga class missile cruiser. of which the US Navy now has 22 in active service. The current Ticonderoga cruiser has:
- a length of 173 m
- a beam of 16.8 m
- a displacement of 9600 long tons
- a speed of over 30 kn
- 2 Mk 45 5-inch guns
- 128 cell Mk 41 VLS
- 2 x 3 Mk 46 torpedoes
- 2 helicopters