US Missile Interceptor Test off the Hawaiian Coast Fails

Raytheon's SM-3 Block IIA is developed and manufactured at Redstone Arsenal

Last spring, the United States military successfully tested the anti-missile defense system to intercept an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) over the Pacific Ocean.

Wednesday's test was the missile system's first-ever flight from the Aegis Ashore facility at Kauai's Pacific Missile Range Facility, reports the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

MDA systems have multiple layers and ranges and use sensors in space, at sea and on land that altogether form a defense for different US regions and territories. This is the fifth test of the missile in general, and the third one in which it attempted to intercept another missile.

The official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said an SM-3 Block IIA missile was launched from an Aegis Ashore test site in Hawaii, but failed to hit another missile launched from an aircraft.

Two officials from the Defense Department who sought to have their identities withheld said that the interceptor missile had failed to neutralize the incoming missile which was a dummy.

Last year, North Korea enjoyed its most successful test to date, debuting the Hwasong-15 rocket which flew more than 10 times the altitude of the International Space Station.

The United States did successfully intercept a medium-range ballistic missile off the coast of Hawaii in an August 2017 test.

The Missile Defense Agency put out a statement after the test that said only: "The Missile Defense Agency and U.S. Navy sailors manning the Aegis Ashore Missile Defense Test Complex 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".

Branding North Korea's leadership "depraved", President Donald Trump told Americans on Tuesday that Pyongyang's pursuit of nuclear missiles could "very soon threaten our homeland" and vowed a continued campaign of maximum pressure to keep that from happening. If confirmed, the test would be the second unsuccessful trial for the Raytheon-made missile in the past year.

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