US military conducts successful missile defense test

Updated: 2013-10-05 00:17

(China Daily)

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WASHINGTON - The US military said Friday it has successfully intercepted a medium-range ballistic missile target during a missile defense test over the Pacific Ocean.

The target was launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai, Hawaii, and flew northwest toward a broad ocean area of the Pacific, at approximately 1:33 a.m. EDT (0533 GMT) Friday, the Pentagon said in a statement.

Following target launch, the USS Lake Erie, equipped with the second-generation Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) weapon system, detected and tracked the missile with its onboard radar, and then launched an SM-3 Block IB missile to engage the target.

The SM-3 maneuvered to a point in space and released its kinetic warhead, destroying the target in a "hit-to-kill" intercept using only the force of a direct impact, the Pentagon said.

This test exercised the latest version of the second-generation Aegis BMD Weapon System, capable of engaging longer range and more sophisticated ballistic missiles, it said.

Aegis BMD is the naval component of the US Ballistic Missile Defense System. The test is the 28th successful intercept in 34 flight test attempts for the Aegis BMD program since flight testing began in 2002.

Across all Ballistic Missile Defense System programs, this is the 64th successful hit-to-kill intercept in 80 flight test attempts since 2001.