US Missile Intercept Test Failed: What Went Wrong?

North Korea missile laucnh

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.

The primary objective of the test, to intercept an air-launched intermediate-range ballistic missile target with an SM-3 Block IIA missile, was not achieved. Defense sources tell NBC and the New York Times that the latest test of the SM-3 Block IIA interceptor missile, created to knock out incoming missiles, was a flop.

Boeing has received a $6.56 billion contract modification from the Missile Defense Agency to extend its Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) development and sustainment contract through 2023, the Pentagon said Wednesday. The GMD system protects the country from long-range ballistic missiles, using interceptors in silos at Vandenberg AFB, Calif., and at Fort Greely.

While the missile is still in development, it represents a key advancement in U.S. defense capabilities as it is created to eventually intercept the type of intercontinental range missile that North Korea has vowed to launch against the US.

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They include President Donald Trump's December 6 announcement that the United States would move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Israel's capital, Jerusalem.

A similar test conducted in July ended in failure as well, though the Department of Defense reported that it was the result of human error, rather than an issue with the system.

Vince Sabio, programme manager for the HVP project said: "The adversary is able to count interceptors, they know where out sites are and they can simply plat what we call the "plus-one game".

"We always make progress every time we conduct a test", said MDA Director Lt. Gen. Sam Greaves. In late October, that contract was modified and the government tacked on an extra $59.7 million so the company could transition its Standard Missile-3 Block IIA program into production.

Meanwhile, at the end of past year, North Korea claimed to have a ballistic missile capable of striking anywhere in the US, after it tested a weapon that flew higher and longer than any of its previous test launches. Missile systems analysts have predicted that the missile launched by Pyongyang had flown to a range that was more than 8,000 miles and had the capacity of hitting Washington DC or any other city in the United States.

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