Vid The United States' long series of attempts to shoot down missiles in flight have delivered failures-a-plenty, but last week the Friday the Missile Defense Agency was able to reveal a successful test.
Conducted in conjunction with Japan's Ministry of Defense and US Navy ship the USS John Paul Jones, the successful test flight represented “ the first intercept of a ballistic missile target using the Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IIA”.
The test, staged off the west coast of Hawaii, was also the first time the SM-3IIA was launched from an Aegis ship, and “the first intercept engagement using the Aegis Baseline 9.C2 (BMD 5.1) weapon system”, the MDA announcement says.
After the target was launched, radar on board the John Paul Jones acquired it, and the ship launched the interceptor to destroy the target.
Unlike previous failed “Star Wars” tests, the MDA has happily released a multi-camera video of the test. The “kill” happens at 1:20 in the video below.
Successful moving-missile-destroys-moving-missile tests have been few and far between, and many have depended on the target carrying a transponder. This time around, however, Uncle Sam looks to have cracked it. ®