The US has successfully intercepted an intercontinental ballistic missile during a test of its ground-based intercept system, according to the US Missile Defense Agency. This test comes just days after North Korea regime launched its ninth missile of 2017. However, the US has said that the test on Tuesday had been planned for many years. The defence agency said that the ground-based interceptor missile which was fired from Vandenberg Air Force Base in Southern California smashed into a target launched from the Marshall Islands, and destroyed it. According to the agency’s press release, this is the first test of the US homeland missile defense system against a ‘complex, threat-representative [intercontinental ballistic missile] ICBM target.”
The ICBM-target was launched from the Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site on Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands, 4,200 miles away. Missile Defense Agency Director Vice Admiral Jim Syring said, “The intercept of a complex, threat-representative ICBM target is an incredible accomplishment for the GMD [Ground-based Missile Defense] system and a critical milestone for this program.” According to the agency, this test was the 18th one for the interceptor. The previous test took place in June 2014 and it was the first success since 2008. However, this new ICBM target had never been tested before.
Have a look at the video footage:
JUST IN: U.S. interceptor missile successfully intercepts test ICBM fired from the Marshall Islands, Pentagon says. https://t.co/bic6F2DbJ2 pic.twitter.com/n8ZnDrdcia
— ABC News (@ABC) May 30, 2017
Meanwhile, North Korea has warned today that it is prepared to launch intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) at any time, as the US successfully tested a system designed to intercept them. “We’re prepared to test-fire ICMBs anywhere and anytime on orders from the supreme commander (Kim Jong-Un)”, the Rodong Sinmun paper said in the article entitled: “No one can stop the nuclear power state, rocketry master in the East”, according to agency reports.
A ground-based missile defense system contains sensors and they are deployed across the world, including the seas, and in space. They function together to detect a hostile missile launch and track the missile in air. Then the control centres are supposed to use the data to guide an interceptor missile to hit the enemy weapon while it is still in space and destroy it. According to MDA, only 10 of the 18 intercept tests have succeeded.