undergroundnewsroom.com March 23, 2018

US Missile Intercept Test Failed: What Went Wrong?

02 February 2018, 09:45 | Damon Campbell

RaytheonThe SM 3 Block IIA missile

Aegis SM 3 Block IIA missile

An intercept test of the missile in June also failed, but a successful test was carried out early past year, the Reuters news agency points out.

Boeing has received a $6.56 billion contract modification from the Missile Defense Agency to extend its Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) development and sustainment contract through 2023, the Pentagon said Wednesday.

The Missile Defense Agency and U.S. Navy sailors manning the Aegis Ashore Missile Defense Test Complex (AAMDTC) conducted a live-fire missile flight test using a Standard-Missile (SM)-3 Block IIA missile launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Kauai, Hawaii, Wednesday morning. Japan also intends to buy the Aegis Ashore land-based system from the US to enhance its own defenses against the DPRK. According to their statement at the time, a sailor aboard the guided missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones erroneously identified the ballistic missile threat as "friendly", forcing the SM-3 launched from the ship to self-detonate prematurely.

An Alabama-made missile reportedly failed to intercept an incoming target during Wednesday testing over Hawaii. The ground-based midcourse system was created to knock down Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles, which could be launched from North Korea or Russian Federation. The two Defense Department officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they do not have the relevant authorization to speak publicly about the interceptor missile tests and whether they succeeded or failed.

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The United States did successfully intercept a medium-range ballistic missile off the coast of Hawaii in an August 2017 test.

It comes amid renewed fears over the nuclear ambitions of Mr Kim, who earlier this week ordered the test of a new long-range missile said to be capable of striking the entire U.S. mainland.

In the past year, the authoritarian country has increased its missile launch tests, with some missiles flying over the territory of Japan.

In his first State of the Union speech to Congress, Trump's tough rhetoric underscored persistent tensions despite recent talks between North and South Korea that led to Pyongyang's agreement to participate in next month's Winter Olympic Games in the South.

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