U.S. Navy’s Newest Operational Destroyer USS Paul Ignatius Shows What It Can Do

Another successful test at the ongoing At-Sea-Demo/Formidable Shield 2021 exercise demonstrates that team work always gives the best results, when all members are forces to be reckoned with.
USS Paul Ignatius fires a Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) interceptor during Formidable Shield 2021 1 photo
Photo: U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Nathan T. Beard
May 26 and May 30 were excellent days for the USS Paul Ignatius’s crew, who experienced the thrill of completing a challenging exercise, in which ballistic missile targets were successfully intercepted. As the “youngest” operational destroyer added to the fleet, USS Paul Ignatius (DDG 117) got the chance to prove that it can live up to its “Always ready, fight on” motto.

The ability to launch, track and intercept missiles is highly important for any defense strategy, and Paul Ignatius’s crew, who had recently completed the basic training for this, demonstrated that it’s a powerful player.

During the demonstration, the U.S. Navy Arleigh-Burke class guided-missile destroyer worked with the Royal Netherlands Navy’s HNLMS De Zeven Provincien (F802) frigate, in a joint operation that showed how interoperability is a game-changer for future combat. First, HNLMS De Zeven Provincien provided an early warning ballistic track to the maritime task group, and, based on this information, the U.S. Navy’s destroyer calculated the firing solution.

As a result, a Standard Missile-3 (SM-3 Blk IA) was launched, which successfully neutralized the ballistic missile threat. For quite a while, the U.S. was the only force within NATO that was capable of missile defense, and operations like these show that the Allies have come a long way, and that interoperability is a key factor in developing NATO’s Ballistic Missile Defense.

Paul Ignatius fired 2 Standard Missile-3, on May 26 and May 30, from the Hebrides Range, off the Scottish coast. Its commanding officer, Cmdr. Lennard Cannon stressed the high level of precision engineering that is required for those final seconds when the target is destroyed, as well as the technical cooperation between the ships in the maritime task group.

The good news is that USS Paul Ignatius faced that challenge and accomplished its task with great success.
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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
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Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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