COURTESY LOCKHEED MARTIN
A missile lifted off at the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai yesterday and destroyed a ballistic missile launched from an aircraft.
Army system bats down missile
KAPAA, Kauai » The Missile Defense Agency was once again successful yesterday in shooting down a missile in the skies off Kauai.
In this test of the Army's Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system, a missile launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility destroyed a ballistic missile launched from an Air Force C-17 aircraft flying over the Pacific Ocean.
The target missile was released by the plane at 4:16 p.m. and launched, and the warhead separated from the booster rockets. Six minutes after the launch, the interceptor was launched from the THAAD mobile launcher currently stationed at the Barking Sands missile range.
It destroyed the warhead minutes later inside Earth's atmosphere.
It was the first THAAD test that zeroed in on and destroyed an intended target amid different parts of the rocket. The previous three tests at the missile range destroyed a single-stage, Scud-type target.
The Navy cruiser USS Lake Erie, which has the Aegis missile defense system, also tracked the target and simulated its own missile launch.
This was the 35th successful hit-to-kill intercept of 43 attempts in the atmosphere and in space since 2001, and was the 29th of 30 successful tests conducted since September 2005, Missile Defense Agency officials said.
The Army's first THAAD battery was activated last month at Fort Bliss, Texas, giving soldiers the opportunity to train on THAAD equipment for approximately one year before it is put into the field, officials added.