US deems historic missile defense test from VAFB as successful
- Author: Leroy Wright May 31, 2017,
May 31, 2017, 17:22
Despite the success, the $244 million test didn't confirm that under wartime conditions the US could intercept an intercontinental-range missile fired by North Korea.
"The system that we test today is a developmental system that's being flown for the first time and we look forward to understanding the results so we continue to mature the system and stay ahead of the threat".
The rescue comes as South Korea's new liberal government has pledged a more moderate approach to North Korea including engagement and reopening a communication channel that has been severed amid tension over Pyongyang's arms programs.
The North has carried out two atomic tests and dozens of missile launches since the beginning of previous year in its quest to develop a missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to the continental United States - something President Donald Trump has vowed "won't happen". "So we believe that they are being productive". The country hasn't yet developed a missile capable of reaching the US mainland, but the USA government believe the continual testing is bringing North Korea country closer to that goal.
The Pentagon announced it has staged a test in which the military shot down a missile similar to the type that North Korea could someday use to threaten the United States.
The continental United States is about 9,000km from North Korea. Its accelerating missile development has complicated Pentagon calculations, most recently by incorporating solid-fuel technology into its rockets.
Several elements of the USA military worked together to launch a mock intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) from the Marshall Islands in the Pacific.
The Pentagon has previously denied that the interceptor programme is intended for North Korean threats exclusively. "Iran's overall defense strategy relies on a substantial inventory of theater ballistic missiles capable of striking targets throughout the region".
The test, designated Flight Test Ground-Based Interceptor (FTG)-15, will provide the data necessary to assess the performance of the GMD system and provide enhanced homeland defence capabilities, it said.
"They continue to conduct test launches, as we saw even this weekend, while also using unsafe rhetoric that suggests that they would strike the United States homeland".
According to the plan, a 5-foot-long "kill vehicle" released from atop the interceptor zeroed in on the ICBM-like target's mock warhead outside Earth's atmosphere and obliterated it by sheer force of impact, the Pentagon said.