Alaska site to test mis­sile in­ter­cep­tor

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NEWS -

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.

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