Sunday 22 October 2023

[UPDATED] A possible Missile Defense Test from Hawaii on October 25-29 (FTM-32?) and another LRHW test from Cape Canaveral


click map to enlarge

 [this post was updated 25 Oct 2023 to include an upcoming LRHW test from Cape Canaveral]


A Navigational Warning (NAVAREA XII 735/23) has appeared  that suggests a Missile Defense test will take place north of Hawaii with a target launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility at Kauai, Hawaii, in the last week of October. The window runs from October 25 to 29.

200855Z OCT 23
NAVAREA XII 735/23(19).
   ALTERNATE 261930Z TO 270100Z,
   271930Z TO 280100Z, 281930Z TO 290100Z OCT
   22-02.00N 159-47.00W, 22-04.00N 159-52.00W,
   23-52.00N 161-49.00W, 22-37.00N 163-18.00W,
   23-00.00N 164-29.00W, 24-54.00N 164-53.00W,
   27-30.00N 167-44.00W, 29-23.00N 167-44.00W,
   35-17.00N 161-05.00W, 35-46.00N 156-36.00W,
   30-43.00N 152-22.00W, 28-18.00N 152-15.00W,
   27-35.00N 152-48.00W, 26-04.00N 155-40.00W,
   24-19.00N 160-57.00W, 22-09.00N 159-45.00W,
   22-03.00N 159-46.00W.
2. CANCEL THIS MSG 290200Z OCT 23.//

In the map above I have plotted the hazard area from the Navigational Warning. The target launch track from PMRF on Kauai can be seen, as well as a large intercept area.

Although not the same, it is riminiscent for that of test FTM-31 E1a of 30 March this year (see a March blogpost) which was a salvo firing of two SM-6 missiles from the US Navy ship USS Daniel Inouyeto that intercepted a MRBM target fired from PMRF Kauai.

The upcoming test might be FTM-32  (see page 5 of this Congressional document) which reportedly also will be a salvo firing of two SM-6 missiles against an MRBM target [edit: it was actually FTM-48]. The missiles will be fired from a US Navy Guided Missile Cruiser positioned north of Kauai, perhaps USS Carl M. Levin or USS Kidd, who both were seen sailing out of Pearl Harbor recently.

UPDATE 26 Oct 2023:

The test happened on 25 October and involved the interception of multiple targets. The interception was done by the USS Carl M. Levine (DDG120). Two HALO observing aircraft (HALO2 and HALO51) where in the air during the test, along with a US Navy P3, a USAF aircraft and fifth small aircraft. MDA news item on it here and a Naval News story here. It was test FTM-48 codenamed Vigilant Wyvern. The targets consisted of two SRBM's and two cruise missiles, the first intercepted with two SM-3 missiles, the second with two SM-2 missiles.

The MDA released this image of the test, showing one of two SRBM targets being fired from the PMRF Kauai (and the smoke trail of another one):

image: Missile Defence Agency

 They also published this video:

 [end of update]


LRHW Test from Cape Canaveral

Meanwhile, another Navigational Warning, NAVAREA IV 1235/23, is pointing to yet another test of the Long Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW) from Cape Canaveral on October 26-28:


241619Z OCT 23
NAVAREA IV 1235/23(GEN).
   281840Z OCT.
A. 28-32.93N 080-33.90W, 28-28.00N 080-02.00W,
   28-18.00N 080-02.00W, 28-23.00N 080-31.00W,
   28-25.64N 080-34.47W.
B. 28-02.00N 078-50.00W, 28-11.00N 078-47.00W,
   27-55.00N 077-24.00W, 27-40.00N 077-27.00W.
C. 28-27.00N 080-02.00W, 28-24.00N 079-09.00W,
   28-11.00N 078-47.00W, 28-02.00N 078-50.00W,
   28-00.00N 079-12.00W, 28-18.00N 080-02.00W.
D. 27-00.00N 063-00.00W, 28-00.00N 059-00.00W,
   27-00.00N 059-00.00W, 26-00.00N 063-00.00W.
E. 23-30.00N 063-00.00W, 21-30.00N 058-30.00W,
   20-30.00N 058-30.00W, 22-30.00N 063-00.00W.
F. 28-45.00N 049-00.00W, 30-45.00N 049-00.00W,
   32-00.00N 044-00.00W, 30-00.00N 044-00.00W.
G. 17-00.00N 048-45.00W, 13-30.00N 041-30.00W,
   11-30.00N 041-30.00W, 15-00.00N 048-45.00W.
2. CANCEL THIS MSG 281940Z OCT 23.

click map to enlarge

Two earlier LRHW test attempts, in March (see this blogpost) and in September (see this blogpost) were aborted. Maybe third time is a charm.

UPDATE: this LHRW test was scrubbed as well.

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