Video shows successful missile-intercept test over Pacific

Elias Hubbard
June 5, 2017

Experts have launched an interceptor missile from an underground bunker air force base "Vandenberg" in California on the mock ICBM launched from a test site Ronald Reagan in the Marshall Islands.

Tuesday's test was the first time the system had faced a live-fire ICBM-class test, MDA said in a press release.

This was the first live-fire test event against an ICBM-class target for GMD and the USA ballistic missile defense system. "And I'm even more confident today after seeing the intercept test yesterday that we continue to be on that course", Syring said during a media briefing at the Pentagon on Wednesday. The GMD consists of a land-based, fire-control system and interceptor missiles created to strike ICBMs in flight outside the atmosphere. The target was an intercontinental-range missile fired from a test range on Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific.

"Based on its testing record, we can not rely upon this missile defense program to protect the United States from a North Korean long-range missile", Philip E. Coyle from the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation remarked. However, the United States has said that the test on Tuesday had been planned for many years. As a result, radar systems in Japan and Alaska weren't in use during the test.

The Pentagon says it still needs to incorporate additional upgrades and complete further testing under more realistic conditions before the interceptor system can be considered a truly reliable defense against long-range, nuclear-armed weapons.

The latest test cost close to 250 million USA dollars, and Pentagon has not ruled out more tests in the near future. Of the 17 tests since 1999, only nine have been successful prior to Tuesday's launch, with the last test conducted in 2014.

"This test keeps the United States on track to increase its ground-based interceptor inventory to 44 in 2017", said Taylor W. Lawrence, president of Raytheon Missile Systems, maker of the hit-to-kill interceptor. Tuesday's test involved a enormous floating radar dish in the Pacific, called the X-Band radar, to help target the missile.

Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis said North Korea was a factor in, but not the primary reason for the test.

Syring said Tuesday's test was made even more complicated by the use of decoys created to throw off the interceptor.

"North Korea has shown great disrespect North Korea has shown great disrespect for their neighbor, China, by shooting off yet another ballistic missile", he wrote.

North Korea launched a ballistic missile on Monday and claimed it flew 248 miles.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has vowed to deploy a nuclear-armed missile capable of reaching American territory.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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