Aegis Combat System Fires Two Standard Missile-6 Against Ballistic Missile Target

Chrystia Freeland: North Korea Missile Test 'Reckless' Violation Of Japan's Sovereignty

The target was a medium-range ballistic missile launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai, Hawaii.

This Tuesday night photo provided by the Department of Defense shows a medium-range ballistic missile target as it launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai.

Gen. Sam Greaves said the Hawai'i test gives Navy ships enhanced capability to defeat ballistic missiles in their last stage of flight. "We will continue developing ballistic missile defense technologies to stay ahead of the threat as it evolves".

The target was successfully intercepted by SM-6 missiles fired from the USS John Paul Jones.

After North Korea launched a missile over Japan, the Hermit Kingdom threatened more launches into the Pacific. A sailor on the USS John Paul Jones triggered a self-destruct sequence by mistake. The ship fired an SM-3 block IIA guided missile but it did not intercept the target.

North Korea has launched a number of missile tests recently, in violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions - including one flight yesterday that sent a vehicle over the Japanese island of Hokkaido. That was the 15th intercept in 15 tests for the THAAD system, according to the MDA.

Like prior versions in Raytheon's Standard Missile series, the SM-6 originally was developed to shoot down air threats like cruise missiles and aircraft.

Due to the diplomatic efforts and sanctions failing to make headway in stopping the North Korea threat, Higbie is concerned the US may be forced to consider the military options. A Standard Missile-3 Block IIA jointly developed by the USA and Japan failed to intercept its target.

The agency's director said the test was "a key milestone".

The August 30 test launch was the third time that the Standard Missile-6 successfully engaged a ballistic missile target in its terminal phase.

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