The Pentagon announces it ‘successfully’ shot down mock ICBM over Pacific Ocean in first-of-its-kind test with eyes on North Korea.
Washington (CNN)The Pentagon successfully shot down an intercontinental ballistic missile using its own upgraded long-range interceptor missile on Tuesday in what was widely seen as a test of US ability to counter a North Korean missile launch.
The Missile Defense Agency launched a ground-based interceptor from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California to intercept a US-launched mock ICBM target over the Pacific Ocean, according to a US defense official.
The interceptor “destroyed the target in a direct collision,” according to a statement from the Missile Defense Agency.
“The intercept of a complex, threat-representative ICBM target is an incredible accomplishment … and a critical milestone for this program,” said MDA Director Vice Adm. Jim Syring.
“This system is vitally important to the defense of our homeland, and this test demonstrates that we have a capable, credible deterrent against a very real threat,” he said.
While the Pentagon is calling this test a success, some experts cautioned that the $40 billion missile defense system still has a long way to go before it can be considered fully developed.
“It marks two successes in a row, which is significant, but only two hits out of the last five attempts; that is, only a 40% success rate since early 2010,” said Philip E. Coyle, a senior fellow at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation.
Reported by: CNN and FOX News