US fires long-range missile in missile defence test
The United States fires a long-range target missile over the Pacific to test an array of radars and other sensors in its missile defence system.Updated: Jul 19, 2008 08:38 IST
The United States fired a long-range target missile over the Pacific to test an array of radars and other sensors in its missile defence system, the Pentagon has said.
The test was supposed to have involved an attempted intercept, but that was delayed until December following the discovery of a flaw in a device used to gather telemetry and other data from the interceptor missile, the head of the Pentagon's Missile Defence Agency said earlier this week.
The target missile was fired from Kodiak island in Alaska at 2247 GMT (0417 IST) with a mock warhead and countermeasures, the agency said in a statement on Friday.
"This was the most challenging flight test of the missile defence system's command and control software to date," the agency said.
"It required the system to process complex data from multiple sources simultaneously and develop an engagement solution necessary to intercept a threat-representative long-range ballistic missile target," it said.
The target missile was tracked by radars on an Aegis destroyer, a deployable mobile ground based targeting radar, a sea-based targeting radar, and an upgraded early warning radar at Beale Air Force Base in California.
The agency said command centers were able to successfully generate an intercept solution, and operational crews simulated the launch of an interceptor missile from Vandenberg Air force Base in California.
US navy operators also simulated an intercept using an SM-3 missile fired from a US Navy ship, the agency said.