first published on December 12, 2018 by Will
The US Navy and the Missile Defense Agency shot an intermediate-range ballistic missile down in space on Tuesday.
The intercepting defense munition, a SM-3 Block IIA missile, was fired from the Hawaii-based Aegis Ashore facility. Meanwhile the target missile was fired by an Air Force C-17 thousands of miles away from the Aegis Ashore test site.
The SM-3 Block IIA was developed by the US and Japan. The system can be launched from sea or land with the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense system. SM-3 are slated to be placed in Romania, Poland, and Japan.
This is the third successful attempt of the defense system, and the fifth test overall. The very first system test in February 2017 was successful, however, the next two were failures. During the second test, a sailor accidentally triggered the missile’s self-destruct feature, which was likely a $100 million error. The two failed tests were the results of freak mishaps and human errors rather than problems with the technology.
“This system is designed to defend the United States, its deployed forces, allies, and friends from a real and growing ballistic missile threat. I offer my congratulations to all members of the team, military, civilian, contractors and allies who helped make this possible,” said Missile Defense Agency Director Lt. Gen. Sam Greaves.
The following footage filmed on Dec. 10, 208 shows the Aegis Ashore Missile Defense Test Complex at the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii, successfully conducting FTI-03. The SM-3 Block IIA interceptor used the AN/TPY-2 radar’s “engage-on-remote” technology to destroy an intermediate-range ballistic missile target in a first-of-its-kind test from land.