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US Missile Defense System Fails Latest Test

US Missile Defense System Fails Latest Test”

Wednesday's test involved a ballistic missile armed with a dummy warhead being launched from an aircraft, followed by land based Aegis assets acquiring and tracking the missile before firing a Raytheon-built SM-3 Block IIA ballistic missile on an intercept course.

A USA military missile intercept test failed in Hawaii on Wednesday, potentially having implications for Japan as it moves forward with plans to introduce the costly Aegis Ashore system on its soil, The Japan Times.

The SM-3 Block IIA can be used on Aegis-equipped destroyers as well as with the Aegis Ashore system, which Japan decided in December to deploy.

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"The Missile Defense Agency and US Navy sailors manning the Aegis Ashore Missile Defense Test Complex (AAMDTC) conducted a live-fire missile flight test using a Standard-Missile (SM)-3 Block IIA missile launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Kauai, Hawaii, Wednesday morning", said Mark Wright, a spokesman for Missile Defense Agency.

The Missile Defense Agency confirmed that a test had taken place, but did not comment on its outcome.

For now, the missile is used to target intermediate-range missiles from adversaries and is a key element of U.S. missile defenses in the Pacific region.

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The worrying fail comes amid heightened concerns about North Korea's developing missile and nuclear weapons which could strike American Pacific islands as well as the United States mainland.

Two officials from the Defense Department who sought to have their identities withheld said that the interceptor missile had failed to neutralize the incoming missile which was a dummy. The SM-3 IIA will have to be tested again at Kauai before that happens. It successfully intercepted a ballistic missile target last February in a test launch.

The Missile Defence Agency is considering several locations to install a new Terminal High Altitude Air Defence (THAAD) interceptor system similar to the one which protects South Korea against a potential attack from the North, according to congressmen Mike Rogers and Adam Smith.

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