The Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System developed by Lockheed Martin Corp. in Moorestown detected and destroyed two incoming targets in tests Thursday in the Pacific Ocean, the company said.

"The simultaneous engagement highlights the flexibility and power of the SPY-1 radar and the weapon system's capability to manage and prioritize the engagement of the two threats," Rear Adm. Brad Hicks, the Missile Defense Agency's Aegis ballistic missile defense program director, said in a statement.

It was the eighth successful intercept in the 10 tests of the current series.

In the tests, the Aegis cruiser USS Lake Erie was attacked by targets that mimicked a short-range missile and an aircraft-launched cruise missile.

"This is the lowest-altitude, shortest-range missile we've engaged to date," Joe Rappisi, director of Lockheed's missile program at Moorestown, said in a telephone interview before the test.

Short-range missiles, such as cruise missiles, require quicker responses, said Nick Bucci, Lockheed's chief engineer for missile defense.

The next test series will begin this summer, Rappisi said.

The system being tested "must be available all the time, cover 360 degrees, from horizon to azimuth, and have enough firepower to take targets out, regardless of the number of threats fired," Rappisi said.

It is used aboard 81 warships, and is scheduled to be added to 25 more. The current version was certified for use by the Navy in 2006, and is an upgrade of a version declared operational in 2004.

Contact staff writer Henry J. Holcomb at 215-854-2614 or hholcomb@phillynews.com.