New Mis­sile De­fense Sys­tem Has Suc­cess­ful Test Over Pa­cific

The Washington Post Sunday - - The Sunday Fix -

HONOLULU — The U. S. mil­i­tary shot down a Scud- type mis­sile in this year’s sec­ond suc­cess­ful test of a new tech­nol­ogy meant to knock down bal­lis­tic mis­siles in their fi­nal minute of flight, the Mis­sile De­fense Agency said Fri­day.

A ship off Kauai fired a tar­get mis­sile, and three min­utes later, sol­diers with the U. S. Army’s 6th Air De­fense Ar­tillery Brigade launched an in­ter­cep­tor mis­sile from Kauai that de­stroyed the tar­get over the Pa­cific, ac­cord­ing to the agency.

The mil­i­tary says it al­ready can shoot down mis­siles in their last stage of flight by us­ing Pa­triot anti- mis­sile bat­ter­ies.

But the Ter­mi­nal High Al­ti­tude Area De­fense sys­tem would be able to pro­tect larger ar­eas than the Pa­triot sys­tem be­cause it in- ter­cepts tar­gets at a higher al­ti­tude, said agency spokes­woman Pam Rogers.

The new sys­tem had its first suc­cess­ful test last year at White Sands Mis­sile Range in New Mex­ico. It had an­other suc­cess­ful test Jan. 27 at the Pa­cific Mis­sile Range Fa­cil­ity on Kauai.

In a Septem­ber test at White Sands, the tar­get mis­sile failed af­ter launch.

The Mis­sile De­fense Agency moved its test­ing for the de­fense sys­tem to Hawaii be­cause the New Mex­ico range is not large enough for the test­ing that the mil­i­tary wants, Rogers said.

The mil­i­tary also uses the Pacif- ic Mis­sile Range Fa­cil­ity to test Aegis tech­nol­ogy, which is de­signed to shoot down bal­lis­tic mis­siles mid­way through their flight.

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