US test fires interceptor missile successfully
One of the objectives of the test was to see if the "kill vehicle" could get close to the warhead with a view to testing the tracking and sensor systems that would be used in a real missile attack.india Updated: Sep 02, 2006 12:52 IST
Pentagon and the US Missile Defence Command seem to be thrilled at the success of a major test involving an interceptor missile and a mock warhead over the Pacific Ocean.
A 54-foot interceptor shot out of an underground silo at Vandenberg Air Force Base on the central California coast about 17 minutes after the mock warhead was launched from Kodiak Island, Alaska. The test was a "total" success, said senior Pentagon officials.
"...It exceeded even our primary objective on the test. And we also met all the secondary objectives of the test, the Director of the Missile Defence Agency," US Air Force Lt General Henry Obering said in Washington.
"Basically, what we did today is a huge step in terms of our systematic approach to continuing to field, continuing to deploy and continuing to develop a missile defense system for the United States, for our allies, our friends, our deployed forces around the world," he said.
The interceptor carried a "kill vehicle" that locked on to the approaching mock enemy missile and flew into the 4-foot-long warhead at 18,000 mph with both disintegrating some 100 miles above the earth.
The interceptor's flight is said to have lasted 13 minutes. One of the objectives of the test was to see if the "kill vehicle" could get close to the warhead with a view to testing the tracking and sensor systems that would be used in a real missile attack.