US hits target over ocean in missile defence test

2014-06-23 12:12
(File, AFP)

(File, AFP)

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California - The US military intercepted a target over the Pacific Ocean on Sunday in a test of the nation's Ballistic Missile Defence System.

A long-range interceptor blasted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base on the central California coast, minutes after an intermediate-range ballistic missile was launched from Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific Ocean, the Missile Defence Agency said in a statement.

Sailors aboard the USS Hopper destroyer detected and tracked the missile, and the interceptor struck the target warhead. Officials said it appears all components of the test performed as designed.

"This is a very important step in our continuing efforts to improve and increase the reliability of our homeland ballistic missile defence system," said Navy Vice Adm. James D. Syring, Missile Defense Agency director.

Program officials will spend the next several months assessing the data obtained during the test.

It was the 65th successful intercept since 2001 for the Ballistic Missile Defence System.

A crew of US Army soldiers from the 100th Missile Defense Brigade based in Colorado's Schriever Air Force Base remotely launched the interceptor.

Kwajalein is a small atoll in the Republic of the Marshall Islands where the US maintains a ballistic missile defence site. It's halfway between Hawaii and Australia.

- AP
Read more on:    us  |  aviation
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