Multi-mission Raytheon missile hits ballistic missile target

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Although the test comes in the backdrop of Pyongyang's provocative ballistic missile test over Japan, the MDA claims it was planned way before in advance.

The ship's onboard radar detected and tracked the target missile, and Standard Missile-6 (SM-6) guided missiles were launched from the ship to intercept the target, MDA said.

Monday's test missile was launched from Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai in Hawaii.

Early on Tuesday, North Korea carried out a test which saw a ballistic missile fly over the Japanese island of Hokkaido and land in the Pacific Ocean after flying more than 2,700 kilometers (1700 miles). The military has conducted three tests in total, but during a test in June, the interceptor failed as a result of human error. Monday's intercept test, like others the USA has conducted, was long planned, the MDA said.

Gen. Sam Greaves said the Hawai'i test gives Navy ships enhanced capability to defeat ballistic missiles in their last stage of flight.

Raytheon said Wednesday the demonstration also marked the third time its SM-6 technology engaged a ballistic missile during the target's terminal phase.

Here's how six USA missile tests fared in the past few months. The Aegis Baseline 9.C2 weapon system has been specifically designed for ballistic missile defense, and along with an earlier version, Baseline 9.C1, can engage in simultaneous air and ballistic missile defense.

The principal objective of the launch was test to a new targeting software created to enable the SM-6 to intercept a ballistic missile warhead descending from the upper atmosphere at extreme speed. That was the 15th intercept in 15 tests for the THAAD system, according to the MDA.

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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