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Missile Defense Test a "No Test"

25 May 2007

A scheduled flight test, of the long range missile defense system, by the Missile Defense Agency, was not completed and designated a “no test” when the target, launched from the Kodiak Launch Complex, in Alaska, failed to reach the defended area, and the Ground-Based Interceptor, which would have come from the Ronald W. Reagan Missile Defense Site, located at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. was not launched.

“The target did not reach sufficient altitude to be deemed a threat, and so the Ballistic Missile Defense System did not engage it, as designed,” said Air Force Lieutenant General Henry “Trey” Obering, III, Missile Defense Agency Director.

“There is always a risk of this occurrence since we are flying old Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) motors in our targets,” he added, “and we have initiated a target modernization program, within our existing budget, which should mitigate these risks for the future. A target will be brought forward from a test scheduled for next fall and we will attempt to repeat this test this summer.”

The MDA has conducted 16 of 17 successful flight tests since 2005 and has achieved 27 of 34 successful intercepts since 2001.

Program officials will conduct an extensive investigation to determine the cause of the malfunction.

News media point of contact is Rick Lehner, Missile Defense Agency, at (703) 697-8997 or richard.lehner@mda.mil

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