US To Conduct Missile Defense Test Off Hawaii

MISSILE DEFENSE

US To Conduct Missile Defense Test Off Hawaii


File photo: SM-3 missile.

by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) Jun 21, 2006
A US warship prepared to shoot down a mock warhead of a medium-range missile over the Pacific Wednesday in the latest of a series of tests of a sea-based missile defense system, a spokesman said. It comes amid tensions over North Korean preparations to launch a long-range missile, but a spokesman for the US Missile Defense Agency said the missile defense test had been planned for months. "It has nothing to do with North Korea or anything else," said Rick Lehner, the agency's spokesman.

It was the second test intercept of a separating warhead, but the first with an operationally configured interceptor missile that is slated for deployment in the US Navy later this year.

The test involves a medium-range target missile that will be launched from a site in Kauai, Hawaii.

An Aegis-guided missile cruiser off Kauai will fire a ship-based SM-3 Block IA missile in an attempt to intercept the mock warhead after it separates from the main body of the target missile.

The cruiser "will detect and track the target with its SPY-1B radar; develop a fire control solution; and its crew will fire the SM-3 Block IA missile," the Missile Defense Agency said.

The three-stage interceptor missile has a kinetic warhead that will be ejected from the third stage.

It "will acquire, track, and divert toward the target, and complete the intercept of the target's reentry vehicle," the agency said. Related Links

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