Japan intercepts ballistic missile in Hawaii test
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 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.
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