US Navy Shoots Down Medium-Range Missile Off Hawaii in Test
31 August, 2017, 01:15 | Author: Ora Austin
The sense of urgency can partially be traced back due to rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula as North Korea's is rapidly advancing its burgeoning ballistic missile program.
Early Wednesday local time, U.S. Navy sailors on the USS John Paul Jones "successfully conducted a complex defense flight test", according to a statement by the Missile Defense Agency, a section of the Defense Department.
Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff said the missile traveled around 1,677 miles and reached a maximum height of 341 miles as it flew over the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido.
The Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai launched the target missile late Tuesday.
Gen. Sam Greaves said the Hawai'i test gives Navy ships enhanced capability to defeat ballistic missiles in their last stage of flight.
A day after the latest North Korean missile launch, the U.S. military test-intercepted a ballistic missile off the Hawaii coast.
"We will continue developing ballistic missile-defence technologies to stay ahead of the threat as it evolves", he said. It was the second missile test conducted by the US military this month.
Guided-missile destroyers such as the John Paul Jones could be used to intercept a North Korean missile from locations in the Sea of Japan and elsewhere in the Pacific. Washington and its allies called an emergency U.N. Security Council meeting for later Tuesday, but looked short on new ideas for stopping the nuclear and missile advances that are increasingly putting the US mainland within range. The U.S. military still has numerous missile defense assets - from Patriot interceptors to Terminal High Altitude Area Defense systems - in the area though.
The ground-based interceptor system was designed mainly to counter a North Korean missile threat, a US official said at the time.
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