US Missile Intercept Test Failed: What Went Wrong?

  • US Missile Intercept Test Failed: What Went Wrong?

US Missile Intercept Test Failed: What Went Wrong?

US Department of Defense officials are trying to determine what went wrong, but so far all the Pentagon will officially say is that a test took place.

The test was conducted in the area of the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Kauai, Hawaii.

USA defence officials are said to be looking for sites on the country's west coast to deploy new anti-missile systems.

The Missile Defense Agency put out a statement after the test that said only: "The Missile Defense Agency and U.S. Navy sailors manning the Aegis Ashore Missile Defense Test Complex conducted a live-fire missile flight test using a Standard-Missile (SM)-3 Block IIA missile launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Kauai, Hawaii, Wednesday morning".

The SM-3 Block IIA interceptor missile was launched from Hawaii on Wednesday, but failed to intercept its target, according to an anonymous USA official.

A similar test conducted in July ended in failure as well, though the Department of Defense reported that it was the result of human error, rather than an issue with the system.

The Missile Defense Agency confirmed the outcome Thursday, after the interceptor failed to hit its target.

The test comes at a time of heightened tensions over North Korea's nuclear weapons program. The last failure happened in July of past year, and was blamed on a sailor accidentally entering data that identified the target as a friendly, causing the missile to self-destruct.

The SM-3 Block IIB is developed jointly by the United States and Japan.

Tokyo now plans to upgrade its missiles and introduce the Aegis Ashore systems to beef up its defense capability and ease the burden on Maritime Self-Defense Forces personnel on Aegis destroyers. The ground-based midcourse system was created to knock down Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles, which could be launched from North Korea or Russian Federation.

CNN claimed the failed test occurred on Wednesday - but the Pentagon refused to confirm the report due to the Trump administration's increasingly sensitive stand-off with Kim Jong-un's regime.