United States missile defense test reportedly fails off Kauai

According to Defense News, US military officials were alarmingly quiet following the test of America's anti-ballistic missile system, refusing to confirm that the interception ultimately failed; the second such failure this year.

Wednesday's test was the missile system's first-ever flight from the Aegis Ashore facility at Kauai's Pacific Missile Range Facility, reports the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Wednesday's test came after the United States approved a plan in early January to sell four SM-3 Block IIA missiles to Japan as the two allies look to counter the rising missile and nuclear threat posed by North Korea. The missile is used to target intermediate range missiles. The U.S. Missile Defense Agency did not comment on the outcome of the test but confirmed that one had taken place.

A test of a US missile interceptor failed in Hawaii on Wednesday, a defense official said, marking the second such unsuccessful attempt in less than a year.

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Several administration officials told CNN the missile was launched from the ground and apparently failed to intercept an incoming target launched from an aircraft. It has created a correction template for false alerts and has stopped ballistic missile defense drills until its own investigation is done. The system "demonstrated the capability to defend the US homeland from a small number" of ICBMs launched "with simple countermeasures when the" USA employs "its full sensors/command and control architecture", Robert Behler said in a report to top Pentagon officials.

A Department of Defense spokesperson would only acknowledge to CNN that the test occurred, not whether it failed.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, whose government was branded as "depraved" by President Donald Trump in his State of the Union address.

All 15 nations on the UN Security Council voted in December for further sanctions to be placed on the North after it tested a ballistic missile last month which Pyongyang claims could reach the U.S. mainland.

  • Adam Floyd