COURTESY BALLISTIC MISSILE DEFENSE AGENCY
The U.S. Army successfully tested its version of the ballistic missile defense at the Pacific Missile Range Facility last night.
Target hit in Army’s test of its missile defense gear
MANA, Kauai » The U.S. Army, in its first test at the Pacific Missile Range Facility, shot down a Scud-type missile launched from a mobile platform in the ocean off Kauai, the Missile Defense Agency announced last night.
The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense test, which occurred at 7:20 p.m., was the first Army test at the facility since equipment was moved there in October. It is the second overall successful test in three tries, officials said.
The U.S. Navy has been testing its Aegis sea-based, ballistic missile defense system at PMRF for a few years.
Last night's test involved the interception of a nonseparating target, similar to a Scud missile, just inside Earth's atmosphere.
The interceptor missile, launched from the THAAD launch complex at the missile range, was operated by soldiers of the 6th Air Defense Artillery Brigade stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas.
Officials said it was the first test in which the soldiers from Texas had complete control of the entire system, from the launcher to the radar tracking and target discrimination.
THAAD, the Army's ground-based missile defense system, can be transported by airplane anywhere in the world, officials said. It works in conjunction with the older Patriot system, used in the Gulf War, but is able to defend against short-, medium- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles, officials said.