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Defense Department Report, November 17: Missile Defense Update

18 November 2005

Navy successfully destroys test target over Pacific Ocean

The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) announced November 17 that the U.S. Navy successful tested its Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System against a realistic target warhead that separated from its booster rocket.

The successful test occurred 160 kilometers above the Pacific Ocean in the vicinity of Kauai and was witnessed by military representatives from Australia, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands and Spain.

Rear Admiral Kathleen Paige, the program director the MDA, told the Associated Press that this test “verifies ballistic missile defense is real, that it is available today, operationally, at sea.”

The test used “hit-to-kill” technology by sending an interceptor missile to destroy a multistage target warhead through a controlled collision.  The sea-based program is designed to destroy short- to intermediate-range ballistic missiles.

Recapping the events: a medium range separating test target was launched from Kauai.  Then the USS Lake Erie, an Aegis cruiser, detected and tracked the target and launched a Standard Missile-3 toward it.  They collided as planned.

Additional sea-based tests are scheduled for 2006.

For more information about U.S. policy, see Arms Control and Non-Proliferation.

 

(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)



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