Navy successfully testing ballistic missile separation system WASHINGTON – The US military on Friday successfully succeeded in shutting down a…
WASHINGTON – The US military on Friday successfully succeeded in shutting down a medium-range ballistic missile in a test of the ship-based missile defense system developed by Japan, the US Missile Defense Agency said.
Navy sailor at USS John Finn, an arleigh Burke-class-controlled missile destroyer, intercepted the test missile off the Hawaiian coast with a standard missile 3 block IIA, part of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System, the MDA said in a statement.
“This was an excellent achievement and important milestone for the SM-3 Block IIA return to flight,” said Air Force Lt Gen. Sam Greaves, MDA Director, in a statement. “I congratulate the whole team, including our sailors, industry partners and allies who helped achieve this milestone.”
It marked the second successful test of the US-Japanese developed Aegis missile defense system after a Japanese destroyer shot a replicated missile in September, even outside of Hawaii. Japanese officials have said they want the system to protect against the threat of ballistic missiles from North Korea.
The North Koreans have shown the ability to fire missiles that could reach the US mainland but have not tested a ballistic missile since August 201
7. North Korean missile samples in the Pacific had increased tension with the United States, despite the fact that the friction between the two nations has disappeared diplomatic talks, including negotiations on North Korea’s nuclear programs.
The successful test of SM-3 Block IIA followed a failed test of that missile earlier this year. Pentagon in February confirmed a test of the Raytheon-based missile missed its rating in a test on January 31st.
A review card determined a bad spark plug-like device in the top phase of the SM-3 Block IIA missile was likely to be the reason for the failure report reported by Bloomberg News this month, referring to MDA documents.
In the January test, the missile was launched with the land-based version of the Aegis system from the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Hawaii, the Pentagon said.
The land-based version is expected to be deployed to Poland, where the Aegis system would use the SM-3 Block IIA missiles as the center of the European Missile Defense, according to Raytheon. Navy has equipped 36 ships with the ship-based version of the system according to the Pentagon.
The Aegis systems along with ground-based separators in California and Alaska locations consist of much of the ballistic missile defense for the US mainland.
The Pentagon has undergone an investigation of its missile defense systems for more than a year. The Missile Defense Review was originally slated for release late last year, but has ongoing late release of the document. Army Col. Rob Manning, a Pentagon spokesman, said Monday that the document was in its final review stage and could be released within a few weeks, a similar renounce Pentagon officials have repeated for several months.