US Missile Defense Test Hits and a Miss

US warship shoots down missile during test in the Pacific

The United States conducted a successful missile defense test that intercepted a medium-range ballistic missile off the coast of Hawaii early Wednesday morning, according to a statement from the US Missile Defense Agency.

It was reported that the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kaua'i launched the target missile late yesterday, Tuesday, Aug. 29.

"Earlier this year, our customer requested an enhanced capability to deal with a sophisticated medium-range ballistic missile threat", said Mike Campisi, Raytheon's SM-6 senior program director. Sailors aboard the destroyer USS John Paul Jones tracked it with radar and fired an interceptor missile to shoot it down.

The test comes amid heightened tensions between North Korea and the US. The North warned that it will continue firing missiles into the Pacific Ocean, adding that the recent test was a "prelude" to possible strikes on or around Guam.

The principal objective of the launch was test to a new targeting software created to enable the SM-6 to intercept a ballistic missile warhead descending from the upper atmosphere at extreme speed.

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Former Navy SEAL Carl Higbie told the FOX Business Network's Dagen McDowell on Mornings with Maria that time is of the essence in dealing with the North Korea threat.

The test, designated Flight Test Standard Missile-27 Event 2 (FTM-27 E2), marks the second time that an SM-6 missile has successfully intercepted a medium-range ballistic missile target.

"North Korea's reckless violation of its neighbours' territorial sovereignty and its direct threat to Japan's citizens have threatened both regional and worldwide peace and security", she said. It was the second missile test conducted by the USA military this month. A Standard Missile-3 Block IIA jointly developed by the US and Japan failed to intercept its target.

In that test, the interceptor collided with the ICBM-class target over the Pacific Ocean a little more than one hour after it was launched.

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