Posted on February 1, 2018
US Missile Fails To Shoot Down Incoming Target In Defence Drill
America’s missile defence systems in Hawaii have reportedly failed to shoot down an incoming missile launch from an aircraft.
The drill comes amid heightened tensions between the United States and North Korea.
A Department of Defense representative confirmed the drill took place but did not comment on the outcome of the test. Lt Col Michelle Baldanza said:
“The Missile Defense Agency and US Navy sailors manning the Aegis Ashore Missile Defense Test Complex (AAMDTC) conducted a live-fire missile flight test using a Standard-Missile (SM)-3 Block IIA missile launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Kauai, Hawaii, Wednesday morning.”
This is the fifth test of the Standard Missile 3 Block IIA ballistic missile interceptor, the third in which it attempted to hit another missile.
In June 2017, the last such experiment failed due to a US Navy sailor accidentally triggering the missile’s self-destruct function.
With North Korea aggression increasing, America’s need to repel missile attacks has taken priority. After a recent series of ballistic missile tests, North Korea now claim they have the capability to strike anywhere on the US mainland.
The US military plans for the SM-3 Block IIA to be a critical component of its ballistic defence shield, with eventual plans to add the missiles to the Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class destroyers. They would also be installed at Aegis Ashore sites in Europe.
The missile defence system, a joint project between the US and Japan, is primarily focused on tackling threats from countries such as North Korea and Iran.
The US has stated that the missiles are not deterrent capabilities poised against closer countries such as Russia or China.
Japan is also due to equip its own warships with the weapon and Aegis Ashore facilities.