Pentagon declares $200 million missile defense test successful
by Dermot Cole
June 22, 2014
FAIRBANKS — The Missile Defense Agency declared a $200 million test a success Sunday morning, saying that a rocket launched from California collided with a target fired into space from the South Pacific, more than 2,400 miles southwest of Hawaii.
“I am very proud of the government and industry team conducting the test today. Their professionalism and dedication made this test a success,” Navy Vice Adm. James D. Syring, director of the agency, was quoted as saying in a press release.
The two missiles collided in space above the Pacific Ocean, destroying the target, an intermediate-range ballistic missile. The interceptor fired from California was a long-range ballistic missile. Some sources say the closing speed of the two projectiles is in the range of 22,000 mph.
Syring called the knockdown a “very important step in our continuing efforts to improve and increase the reliability of our homeland ballistic missile defense system.”
The interceptor fired from California is similar to the 26 missiles in silos at Fort Greely in Alaska and four others at Vandenberg Air Force Base that make up the ground-based midcourse defense system. If a real missile launch is ever detected, missiles from Fort Greely would be fired to try to knock it down in space. The “kill vehicle” atop the interceptor rocket does not contain explosives and is designed to stop an attack with blunt force at many thousands of miles per hour.
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