Homeland Missile Defense System Successfully Intercepts ICBM Target
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 04, 2017,
Jun 04, 2017, 12:43
The military says an interceptor rocket launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California slammed into the warhead as it traveled outside the Earth's atmosphere after being launched from a test range on a Pacific atoll.
The intercept marked the first live-fire test against an ICBM-class target for the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) missile, which is being developed by Boeing Co. "And also the Chinese are going to look at this and worry because they have also the ability to nuke the U.S". "And I'm even more confident today after seeing the intercept test yesterday that we continue to be on that course", Syring said a news briefing.
In response, the Pentagon launched a successful test of its own...of an interceptor missile.
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 defense capabilities. But, in return, the U.S. authorities have confirmed that this missile test is not an aggressor test against the North Korean, instead this test was scheduled for a long time, many years before. Since the system was declared ready for potential combat use in 2004, only four of nine intercept attempts have been successful.
The Pentagon has other elements of missile defense that have shown to be more reliable, although they are created to work against medium-range or shorter-range ballistic missiles. He pointed out that the testing and its success sent a clear message that the US has an effective defense against threats.
Target-tracking data was relayed to the GMD system which responded by launching the interceptor from Vandenberg. The Sea-Based X-band radar in the Pacific tracked and targeted the launch, as did "multiple sensors", MDA said, which would most likely include the Air Force's main missile-warning satellite constellation, the Space-Based Infrared System. During the test, an intercontinental ballistic missile attack was simulated as a result of the North Korean threat.
But, with only 44 of the expensive ground-based interceptor missiles expected to be in service at the end of this year, the next test will not take place until late 2018, Vice Admiral Jim Syring, director of the Missile Defense Agency, said. United States news outlets said the test was meant to prepare for the possibility of a North Korean ICBM attack on the mainland US. North Korea claimed the missile was a test of a maneuverable reentry vehicle capable of a precision strike.
According to the representative of the missile defense Agency Christopher Johnson, a rocket created to mimic the ICBMs fly faster than those that were used in the previous intercept test.