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MISSILE DEFENSE
US conducts successful missile intercept test amid NKorea tensions
by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) July 11, 2017


THAAD intercepts target in missile defense test
Washington (UPI) Jul 11, 2017 - The Missile Defense Agency announced Tuesday it successfully intercepted a target during a test of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense missile defense system.

Orbital ATK is touting the Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile target it supplied in MDA's test of the Lockheed Martin-built THAAD system held earlier on Tuesday.

The THAAD is part of the U.S. missile shield against intermediate-range ballistic missiles. THAAD launchers have been sold to several allied nations and have reportedly been delivered to South Korea to bolster defenses there.

Orbital ATK said in the latest THAAD test its target missile was air-dropped North of Hawaii by parachute from the cargo hold of a C-17 aircraft before its rockets ignited and the missile simulated an intermediate range ballistic missile threat.

THAAD radars detected, acquired and tracked the target and developed a fire control solution. The interceptor was then launched, destroying the target's re-entry vehicle through kinetic force.

The test Tuesday was the 14th successful intercept in 14 attempts for the THAAD weapon system.

"I couldn't be more proud of the government and contractor team who executed this flight test today," MDA Director Lt. Gen. Sam Greaves said in a press release. "This test further demonstrates the capabilities of the THAAD weapon system and its ability to intercept and destroy ballistic missile threats. THAAD continues to protect our citizens, deployed forces and allies from a real and growing threat."

Taking part in the test were MDA and elements of the U.S. Army, Joint Forces Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Coast Guard, Pacific Spaceport Complex Alaska, Ballistic Missile Defense Operational Test Agency, Department of Defense Operational Test and Evaluation, and the Army Test and Evaluation Command.

Orbital ATK is currently building 16 target vehicles through 2019 under a $1.4 billion contract.

"Orbital ATK designed the IRBM to provide more flexible targets at a lower cost to meet the customer's current and future needs," Rich Straka, vice president and general manager of Orbital ATK's Launch Vehicles Division, said in a press release. "Congratulations to our Orbital ATK employees and the entire MDA team for mission success on this flight test."

The US military has conducted a successful test of a missile intercept system, officials said Tuesday, as tensions soar following North Korea's test launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile that could potentially reach Alaska.

The test of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system saw a ballistic missile target air-launched from an Air Force C-17 over the Pacific Ocean north of Hawaii.

"A THAAD weapon system located at (Pacific Spaceport Complex Alaska) in Kodiak, Alaska, detected, tracked and intercepted the target," the US Missile Defense Agency said in a statement.

THAAD is designed to intercept and destroy short-, medium- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles during their final phase of flight.

THAAD maker Lockheed Martin said this was the first time the system had intercepted an intermediate-rangle ballistic missile.

Richard McDaniel, a Lockheed vice president, said in a statement that the system had performed "flawlessly."

Though such exercises are planned months in advance, it comes after North Korea's first-ever test-firing last week of an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching parts of the United States including Alaska.

THAAD is not designed to stop an ICBM -- that job is left primarily to the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) interceptor system.

The US military this year began deploying THAAD to South Korea, a move that infuriated China, which has argued the deployment would further destabilize the situation on the Korean peninsula.

This was the 14th successful intercept in 14 attempts for the THAAD weapon system, the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) said.

"I couldn't be more proud of the government and contractor team who executed this flight test today," MDA Director Lieutenant General Sam Greaves said in the statement.

"This test further demonstrates the capabilities of the THAAD weapon system and its ability to intercept and destroy ballistic missile threats. THAAD continues to protect our citizens, deployed forces and allies from a real and growing threat."

The US also has a THAAD system installed in Guam.

THAAD uses "hit-to-kill" technology where kinetic energy from the interceptor missile destroys an incoming target.

"The successful demonstration of THAAD against an (intermediate)-range missile threat bolsters the country's defensive capability against developing missile threats in North Korea and other countries around the globe and contributes to the broader strategic deterrence architecture," the MDA said.

MISSILE DEFENSE
San Diego 'likely' in range of N.Korea ICBM in 2 years: US monitor
Seoul (AFP) July 11, 2017
North Korea's intercontinental ballistic missile is "likely" to be able to deliver a 500 kilogram warhead to San Diego within two years, a US monitoring group said Tuesday, after its launch sparked global alarm last week. The isolated, nuclear-armed state's first successful ICBM test was described by leader Kim Jong-Un as a gift to "American bastards". The Hwasong-14 missile is currently ... read more

Related Links
Learn about missile defense at SpaceWar.com
Learn about nuclear weapons doctrine and defense at SpaceWar.com
All about missiles at SpaceWar.com
Learn about the Superpowers of the 21st Century at SpaceWar.com

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