Alaska site to test missile interceptor
KODIAK, Alaska — The U.S. Coast Guard said a launch from the Kodiak Island rocket complex in Alaska will occur as soon as this week.
The test launch is scheduled for the Pacific Spaceport Complex-Alaska between 7 p.m. Saturday and 1:30 a.m. July 30, according to a U.S. Coast Guard notice released Wednesday. Alternative times for the launch are listed as between 7 p.m. July 30 and 1:30 a.m. July 31, or between 7 p.m. July 31 and 1:30 a.m. Aug. 1.
Mariners are advised to remain clear of swaths of ocean between Kodiak Island and Hawaii during those time slots.
U.S. Army soldiers are stationed temporarily at the launch complex for U.S. Missile Defense Agency testing of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system, the Kodiak Daily Mirror reported.
The U.S. Missile Defense Agency successfully completed a Flight Test THAAD-18 operation from Kodiak earlier this month. That test “validated THAAD’s ability to intercept intermediate range ballistic missiles,” said Chris Johnson, U.S. Missile Defense Agency director of public affairs.
That test, which occurred overnight between July 10 and 11, included the launch of “two interceptors from two co-located launchers,” Johnson wrote in an email to the Kodiak Daily Mirror. “The first missile engaged the target. The second interceptor was launched to test operational procedures.”
The next test from the site, called the FTT-15, will test the system’s ability to intercept a medium-range ballistic missile within the Earth’s atmosphere, said Leah Garton of U.S. Missile Defense Agency public affairs.