US fails to intercept missile in overnight test

US fails to intercept missile in overnight test
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The U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and Japan in a joint missile intercept test Wednesday night failed to hit a missile launched off Hawaii’s coast

The MDA and the Japan Ministry of Defense launched a medium-range ballistic target missile from the Pacific Missile Range Facility at Kauai, Hawaii at approximately 7:20 p.m.

The USS John Paul Jones destroyer tracked the target missile, then launched a Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IIA guided missile, “but the missile did not intercept the target,” according to a statement from the agency.

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The statement described the SM-3 Block IIA as “a new, developmental interceptor that is not yet fielded by either country,” but being developed cooperatively to defeat medium- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles.

“Program officials will conduct an extensive analysis” of the failed test, the fourth development flight and the second intercept test, according to the MDA.

The previous intercept test conducted in February was successful, the agency stated.

The United States last month also held a successful missile intercept test with the ground-based midcourse defense system (GMD) that blew up a mock intercontinental ballistic missile over the Pacific Ocean. 

The Pentagon lauded the successful test as proof that the United States can outpace an ICBM threat from North Korea and Iran through 2020.