ICBM Intercept Test Worked Against Decoys North Korea Might Use

Elias Hubbard
June 4, 2017

During the May 30 test - the first live-fire test event against an ICBM-class target for GMD (built by Boeing) and the USA ballistic missile defense system - an ICBM-class target was launched from the Reagan Test Site on Kwajalein Atoll in the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

The Pentagon released video on Wednesday showing an ICBM target fired from the Marshall Islands taken down by a ground-based interceptor launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The most recent North Korean test involved a short-range ballistic missile that traveled about 250 miles before splashing down in Japan's "exclusive economic zone" near the coast.

On Tuesday, Pyongyang said Washington was seeking to unleash a nuclear war, and accused it of sending atomic bombers close to its territory following the latest missile test.

About half of the previous tests of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense system have failed, attracting criticism from the Government Accountability Office and the Pentagon's own weapons testing office, which says the system has "a limited capability" to defend the us against an ICBM attack. Since the system was declared ready for potential combat use in 2004, only four of nine intercept attempts have been successful.

This is the first time that the Pentagon has attempted to shoot down an intercontinental missile.

Jim Syring is the vice admiral who directs the Defense Department's Missile Defense Agency.

"The U.S. now has a problem, because we have an ally who really doesn't want to support our attempts to really try to sanction off North Korea from the rest of the worldwide community". The intercept of ICBMs have not been tested even once.

As Boeing stated, "GMD is an integral element of the United States' layered ballistic missile defense architecture, with interceptors at Vandenberg Air Force Base and Fort Greely, Alaska".

The mock missile used in the test simulated the speed of an ICBM, similar to the North Korean missile fired off on Monday. This is a statement of considerable significance given that North Korea has repeatedly tested missiles and issued warnings about a military strike that will have the capability to destroy a major portion of the U.S.

North Korea says its nuclear and missile programs are a defense against perceived US military threats.

The test occurred just days after the North Korean regime launched another missile this year, though US officials say it had been planned for years.

Haley said the Trump administration believes that China is using back-channel communications with North Korea to persuade it to stop nuclear weapons testing.

By the end of the year, the U.S.is expected to deploy 44 interceptors around the country, up from 36.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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