New SM-6 intercepts ballistic missile target at sea

The U.S. military shot an incoming missile out of the sky in a successful intercept test Wednesday.

The Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai launched the target missile late Tuesday.

John Paul Jones detected and tracked a target missile launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai, Hawaii with its onboard AN/SPY-1 radar, and onboard SM-6 missiles executed the intercept, it added.

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The missile defence drill was conducted from the Arleigh Burke-class USS John Paul Jones, state the statement issue by US Missile Defence Agency (MDA) on Wednesday.

The sense of urgency can partially be traced back due to rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula as North Korea's is rapidly advancing its burgeoning ballistic missile program.

Like prior versions in Raytheon's Standard Missile series, the SM-6 originally was developed to shoot down air threats like cruise missiles and aircraft.

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This test marks the second time that a SM-6 missile has successfully intercepted a medium-range ballistic missile target, officials said. An earlier test of the same interceptor in February succeeded.

The U.S. has lost a few Aegis destroyers in recent months, hindering missile defense in a volatile region.

In May, the USA, in the first test of its ground-based intercept system at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, intercepted an intercontinental ballistic missile launched from the Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site on Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands, which is 4,200 miles away. The test was considered a direct challenge to President Trump, who has threatened the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, that America would respond with "fire and fury" to provocations.

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A medium-range ballistic missile target is launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai, Hawaii, during a defense test on August 29, 2017.


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