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Radar problems foil US missile defence test

A US missile defence test has failed when a long-range missile missed its target due to radar problems, the Defence Department said on Monday.

world Updated: Feb 01, 2010 20:21 IST

A US missile defence test has failed when a long-range missile missed its target due to radar problems, the Defence Department said on Monday.

A target missile was launched from an Army test site at Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands last night. Six minutes later, a second missile was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, to find the first one and destroy it.

Both missiles flew successfully, but missed each other because of a problem in the sea-based X-band radar, the department's Missile Defence Agency said in a press release.

The X-band radar sits atop a modified floating oil platform and provides information about incoming missiles so military officials can launch a response.

"Both the target missile and ground-based interceptor performed nominally after launch. However, the sea-based X-band radar did not perform as expected," the agency said.

Officials intend to investigate the cause of the interception failure, the report said.

An anti-ballistic missile (ABM) is a missile designed to counter enemy ballistic missiles.

In the past, the U.S. military has demonstrated the feasibility of destroying long and short range ballistic missiles with the help of its missile defence batteries.