Honolulu, Dec 12 (IANS) The US has conducted a successful missile defence test in Hawaii, the latest advancement in American capabilities to defend against ballistic missiles.
US Navy sailors in Hawaii on Tuesday successfully intercepted an intermediate range ballistic missile target with an interceptor missile launched from land using the Aegis Ashore system, CNN quoted the US Missile Defence Agency as saying.
The intermediate range ballistic missile target was air-launched by a US Air Force C-17 from the ocean thousands of miles away from Hawaii, the agency said.
“Today’s (Tuesday) successful flight test demonstrated the effectiveness of the European Phased Adaptive Approach Phase 3 architecture,” Missile Defence Agency Director Lt. Gen. Sam Greaves said in a statement.
“This system is designed to defend the US, its deployed forces, allies, and friends from a real and growing ballistic missile threat.”
The SM-3 Block IIA Missile is being developed to eventually intercept intercontinental range missiles, like the types that North Korea has vowed to launch against the US, but, as of now, this is the first successful test of the missile intercepting an intermediate range ballistic missile.
It is also the first successful intercept launched from shore rather than from the Navy Aegis ships.
The US military had conducted the same missile defence test in January, but it was unsuccessful, administration officials told CNN.
A successful missile test intercepting a medium-range ballistic missile target was conducted in October.