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Iran Press TV

US military fails to intercept test missile target amid struggling air-defense systems

Iran Press TV

Saturday, 29 May 2021 11:35 PM

An American warship has failed to intercept a medium-range ballistic missile test target, according to the US Missile Defense Agency (MDA), which did not reveal the location of the weapon testing.

"The objective of the test was to demonstrate the capability of a ballistic missile defense-configured Aegis ship to detect, track, engage and intercept a medium-range ballistic missile target" with a salvo of two Standard Missile-6 (SM-6) Dual II missiles, the agency further explained in a Saturday statement.

"However, an intercept was not achieved," it added as quoted in local media reports without offering further details on circumstances and other aspects of the air defense system. Some reports identified the general location of the test as the Pacific Ocean near Hawaii.

Program officials, according to the reports, also asserted that they have initiated a probe into the cause of any problems which may have prevented a successful intercept and will analyze the results.

The MDA, an agency that operates under the US Department of Defense, routinely conducts missile defense tests, the latest of which was carried out in cooperation with the US Navy.

Although it has previously carried out successful intercept tests using different types of SM-6 missiles, the latest failure came as American anti-air missile defense systems have proved miserably ineffective against missile, rockets and drones used against US military facilities and allies in the Middle East, notably in Saudi Arabia and Iraq.

The development came nearly a week after Chief of the US Central Command (CENTCOM) Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie suggested growing concerns of the despotic Saudi rulers in face of growing reprisal aerial attacks by Yemeni forces amid repeated failures of US-supplied Patriot anti-air missile systems in the Persian Gulf kingdom.

"I think they want reassurance that they're going to be helped if they're attacked by Iran, and they want help against the continuing attacks," claimed the top US general in the Middle East.

The commander further suggested that the US support for the monarchy is not only about American military equipment like American Patriot missile systems.

"The point that I made today and we continue to make it all the time is: It's not actually the types of equipment that are here, it's maximizing the use of the more than 20 Patriot batteries that you do have the interoperable with us, maximizing those capabilities, so that if trouble occurred we can certainly come back in very quickly to help our Saudi friends," McKenzie emphasized during a visit to the oil-rich monarchy on May 23.

Pointing to further Saudi fears in their losing war of aggression against neighboring Yemen, McKenzie also mentioned successful Yemeni retaliatory attacks on the kingdom's oil and military facilities.

"They're under constant bombardment from Yemen, with a variety of ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and small UAS (unmanned aerial systems) they're very concerned about. We want to help them with that," the CENTCOM commander then claimed.

He also pledged to allied Saudi dictators that Washington would continue to maintain its huge military presence in the country.

American anti-air defense batteries have also proved ineffective in face of persisting rocket attacks against their military installations across Iraq by local resistance groups seeking a complete end to the US military presence in the country after Washington ordered the terror assassination of senior Iranian and Iraqi military commanders near Baghdad's airport in January 2020.

Following the US terrorist attack, Iranian IRGC forces launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles at the US-occupied al-Asad military base in Iraq, scoring precision strikes -- without any detection by American air-defense batteries – that devastated the base by the admission of US officials and mainstream media outlets.

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