Missile Launched from US Warship Destroys Mock Long-Range Missile

An Air Force Global Strike Command unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile launches during a test at 12:21 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time Aug. 4 2020 at Vandenberg Air Force Base Calif

A US Navy destroyer successfully intercepted a mock intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) created to simulate one developed by North Korea, a Pentagon official said.

The SM-3 Block IIA interceptor missile will also be deployed to Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force.

The destroyer USS John Finn, equipped with an Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System, shot down the ICBM on Monday northeast of Hawaii with the latest version of the Standard Missile-3, the U.S. Missile Defense Agency said in a statement.

The SM-3 Block IIA missile has been jointly developed by Raytheon Technologies and Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd.

The ICBM was destroyed outside Earth's atmosphere, Raytheon said in a separate statement.

Fox News noted that previous tests to shoot down ICBMs have been conducted using ground-based interceptors launched from military bases in Alaska and California.

The Standard Missile-3 Block 2A interceptors launched from Aegis destroyers are seen by the Pentagon as having the potential to add another layer of protection to its missile defense against ICBM threats, possibly from countries including North Korea, to the homeland.

It took place at an ocean area near Hawaii during a flight test demonstration.

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The successful test shows the US military now has another missile defense system capable of defending against North Korean ICBM's aimed at the United States.

In the midst of growing threats from China and North Korea, the US Missile Defense Agency has succeeded in the first time of intercepting an intercontinental missile into space with an interceptor missile. It also could be deployed on land in Asia to defend USA forces in Guam against North Korean and Chinese missiles and in Europe at missile defense installations in Poland and Romania to protect US forces in Europe and NATO allies from Iranian missiles, he said.

North Korea has recently refrained from flight tests of ballistic missiles of intercontinental range and has not continued its nuclear testing. Army document on the GMD, "it now protects against the threat of limited intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) attacks".

Missile defense has always been a sticking point in USA arms control talks with Russian Federation.

The Aegis Ballistic Missile Weapons System is the naval component of the U.S. Missile Defense System.

The missile test was originally scheduled for May, but was delayed due to restrictions on the movement of personnel and equipment that resulted from the coronavirus pandemic.

An Air Force Global Strike Command unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile launches during a test at 12:21 a.m.

"This successful intercept is a tremendous accomplishment and confirms we have inherent capability against long range ballistic missile threats that can be deployed to all our Aegis Baseline 9 ships and Aegis Ashore sites - at any moment", Jim Sheridan, vice president and general manager at Lockheed Martin, which makes the Aegis system, said in a press release.

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