Missile Destroyed by Interceptor Launched from California in North Korea Drill

31 Mai, 2017, 11:21 | Author: Claudine Rigal

"This was the first live-fire test event against an ICBM-class target for GMD and the USA ballistic missile defense system", MDA reported in a statement announcing the successful intercept.

Syring, the missile defense agency director, has said he is "very confident" in the systems that would be used "to intercept a North Korean ICBM were they to shoot it toward our territory".

"They continue to conduct test launches, as we saw this weekend, while also using unsafe rhetoric that suggests they would strike the United States homeland".

Concerns about North Korean nuclear and missile threats have deepened in the USA since North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said in his New Year's Day address that the country is ready to test-fire an intercontinental ballistic missile apparently capable of reaching the U.S.

Navy Captain Jeff Davis said in a statement that the test was not a reaction to North Korea's recent trial launches - the latest of which happened on Monday - but was occurring in part because of Pyongyang's longstanding nuclear proliferation.

The interceptors are, in essence, the last line of US defense against an attack by an intercontinental-range missile.

The interception is a move that the Pentagon says is akin to hitting a bullet with another bullet - though at far higher speeds.

In a launch visible in Southern California, the Air Force shot down an incoming missile with a ground-based interceptor Tuesday in a drill created to prepare for a North Korean nuclear strike.

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Since its inception, the system "has destroyed its target fewer than half the 17 times it has been tested, and its record is not improving over time", she said at the time.

It is unclear if more tests are planned in the near future, or what the success might mean for the program overall until military officials study the data more closely.

The missile defense program has yet to prove successful against missiles that can deploy decoys. The Pentagon is thirsting for a success story amid growing fears about North Korea's escalating capability.

In an interview with CBS News' "Face the Nation", U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis called North Korea a "direct threat to the United States".

The US military has staged a successful, first-ever missile defence test involving a simulated attack by an intercontinental ballistic missile, as concerns mount over North Korea's advancing missile and nuclear program. Earlier this month, the USA military announced that the THAAD missile defense system had become operational.

This is meant to be interpreted by the public, and particularly the check-writers in Congress, as proof the USA missile defense system "works" and could shoot down ICBMs fired by North Korea at the U.S. mainland, across the Pacific Ocean, foiling a potential attack.

President Donald Trump has denounced the launch, saying the North has "shown great disrespect" for China, trying to calm the situation.

Those countries, according to Davis, are increasing the range and incorporating ballistic missile defense countermeasures and making them more complex, survivable, reliable and accurate. The missile from Vandenberg was expected intercept and destroy the other missile in space, likely above the waters near Hawaii (the area was closed to ships during the drill).


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    Since the system was declared ready for potential combat use in 2004, only four of nine intercept attempts have been successful. The interceptors are, in essence, the last line of US defense against an attack by an intercontinental-range missile.

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