Watch this U.S. interceptor missile system destroy an ICBM. Wow!

Yesterday the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA), based on Huntsville's Redstone Arsenal, successfully intercepted and destroyed an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) target during the first live-fire test of MDA's Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system.

The Pentagon successfully tested a missile interceptor launched from California's Vandenberg Air Force Base on Monday, destroying a mock warhead over the Pacific Ocean as a show of military might one day after North Korea launched the latest in a series of missile tests meant to signal its own growing strength.

A ground-based interceptor was then launched from a silo on VAFB, and its exo-atmospheric kill vehicle intercepted and destroyed the target in a direct collision, the USA reports.

As Boeing stated, "GMD is an integral element of the United States' layered ballistic missile defense architecture, with interceptors at Vandenberg Air Force Base and Fort Greely, Alaska".

Philip E. Coyle, a senior science fellow at the Centre for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation who formerly headed the Pentagon's office of operational test and evaluation, said that the test was barely realistic and voiced doubts about the overall success of the GMD program.

A type of ICBM was sacked from the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands toward the waters south of Alaska. The military has been testing the interceptor system since 1999, but this is the first time it was tested on an intercontinental missile. The GMD consists of a land-based, fire-control system and interceptor missiles created to strike ICBMs in flight outside the atmosphere. The CE-II has had only one successful test in three total attempts.

"North Korea has shown great disrespect for their neighbor, China, by shooting off yet another ballistic missile.but China is trying hard!"

Vice Admiral Jim Syring, director of the Pentagon agency in charge of developing the missile defence system, said it was an incredible accomplishment.

The long-planned test vindicated the expensive, complicated effort to defend the United States homeland from missile attacks -but there's still no stopping a real attack from a determined foe like North Korea.

The continental United States is around 9000 km from North Korea.

Riki Ellison, founder of the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance, described the test as "vital" prior to launch. "They continue to conduct test launches, as we saw even this weekend, while also using risky rhetoric that suggests that they would strike the United States homeland".

Among the 36 deployed interceptors in Alaska and California there are now two kill vehicles in use, the CE-I and the CE-II.

  • Zachary Reyes