Missile Defense Agency says it completed largest test in history
By W.J. Hennigan
11:25 AM PDT, October 25, 2012
Multiple missiles screaming above the Pacific Ocean were successfully
intercepted by the military’s ballistic defense system in a test that
the U.S. Missile Defense Agency is calling its biggest and most complex
exercise to date.
The highly orchestrated event, which involved
all three military branches, took place Wednesday over a wide region in
the western Pacific at a cost of $188 million, the agency said.
Missiles were launched from the ground, air, and sea in an exercise
that took about 30 minutes to complete. See a short video of highlights
of the test above.
“It was conducted to demonstrate the ability
of the Ballistic Missile Defense System to defend against a raid of
five near-simultaneous threats in an operationally relevant scenario,”
said Pamela S. Rogers, an agency spokeswoman. “It was the first time in a
live-fire test that multiple weapon systems engaged a raid of multiple
During the test, Army personnel
at a facility on the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands used a
system made by Lockheed Martin Corp. to track a medium-range target
missile that was launched from a C-17 cargo jet. After stalking the
target through radar, Army personnel then successfully sent a missile to
blow it apart.
At the same time, other soldiers using the
Patriot system made by Raytheon Co. detected, tracked and successfully
intercepted a short-range ballistic missile. That target was launched
from a mobile launch platform floating in the ocean in an area northeast
of Kwajalein Atoll.
The destroyer Fitzgerald didn’t have the
same success. The ship’s Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System, built
by Lockheed, was able to track and engage a low-flying target cruise
missile zipping above the ocean. The agency said the system also tracked
a short-range ballistic missile, but that “there is no indication that
it hit its target."
Ballistic Missile Defense System programs
have completed 56 successful hit-to-kill intercepts in 71 flight test
attempts since 2001, the agency said.
By: tai Mai Shu
In: Regional News
Tags: U.S. Missile Defense Agency, Ballistic Missile Defense System programs, Missile test
Location: United States (load item map)
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