MDA Releases FTM-29 Failure Review Board Findings

On October 1, the Missile Defense Agency released findings of its investigation into FTM-29’s failure. The joint U.S.-Japanese test took place on January 31, 2018, testing the co-developed Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IIA. MDA’s statement indicated that the missile’s “Hybrid Arm and Fire Device” (a sparkplug-like mechanism) failed to ignite the third-stage rocket motor responsible for the warhead’s flight. MDA is taking action to replace the devices to prevent a repeat of the incident. Despite the failed intercept, FTM-29 did successfully demonstrate the Aegis Ashore “engage on remote” capability.