Japan intercepts ballistic missile in Hawaii test
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Last Updated: Wednesday, October 28, 2009, 17:19
  
Honolulu: A Japanese navy ship intercepted a medium-range ballistic missile in a test off Hawaii, the US and Japanese militaries said.

The drill was the third such test for Japan, which began investing in a US-developed ballistic missile defence system after North Korea test-fired a long-range missile over northern Japan in 1998.

The US fired the test's target from the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai, and the JS Myoko destroyer detected the target, tracked it, then fired an SM-3 interceptor missile from its deck.

The interceptor hit the target in space about 160 kilometres above the Pacific Ocean, the militaries yesterday said in a joint news release.

The target's warhead separated from its booster rocket, so the interceptor had to distinguish between the two parts and hit the warhead.

Two US Navy vessels based at Pearl Harbour, the USS Paul Hamilton and the USS Lake Erie, tracked the target alongside the Myoko.

The SM-3 interceptors fired from ships are designed to intercept missiles midway through their flights. The US is developing other systems to shoot down missiles in their initial and final stages.

Bureau Report


First Published: Wednesday, October 28, 2009, 17:19


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