By Thom Shanker
July 5, 2013
WASHINGTON — A test launching of an advanced missile-defense interceptor failed to hit its target high over the Pacific Ocean, the Pentagon said on Friday, four months after the Obama administration announced that it would spend $1 billion to increase the number of interceptors along the West Coast in response to verbal threats from North Korea.
A brief Defense Department statement issued Friday said a long-range ballistic missile target had been launched from an Army test range in the Marshall Islands, and that an interceptor had been launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California to destroy it.
“An intercept was not achieved,” the statement said. “Program officials will conduct an extensive review to determine the cause or causes of any anomalies which may have prevented a successful intercept.”
Some skeptics of the missile-defense program saw the failure as additional evidence that the technology was unreliable and might not be worth the expense.
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