Navy missile defense test in Hawaii reportedly fails

Navy missile defense test in Hawaii reportedly fails
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The U.S. military reportedly failed to intercept an incoming target in a ballistic missile defense test early Wednesday in Hawaii.

The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) acknowledged the test took place, but would not comment on the results.

“The Missile Defense Agency and U.S. Navy sailors manning the Aegis Ashore Missile Defense Test Complex (AAMDTC) 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,” MDA spokesman Mark Wright said in a statement.

If confirmed, it would be the second such unsuccessful test of the Raytheon missile within a year. 

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CNN first reported the latest test, which included a missile launched from land and an intercept target launched from an aircraft.

Officials told the network the Pentagon is not publicly acknowledging the results due partly to sensitivities around North Korea's participation in the Winter Olympic Games in February and tensions with Pyongyang.

The SM-3 Block IIA is a new, developmental interceptor made by Raytheon that is still undergoing tests. It is being jointly developed by the U.S. and Japan to defeat medium- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles.

The U.S. military had a failed SM-3 Block IIA test last year after a sailor mistakenly used the wrong input for the defense system, causing a launched missile to self-destruct before reaching its target.

In that June test, the MDA and the Japan Ministry of Defense jointly launched a medium-range ballistic target missile off Hawaii’s coast.

The latest test comes less than 24 hours after President TrumpDonald John TrumpFederal plan to contain Washington protests employs 7,600 personnel: report GOP Rep calls on primary opponent to condemn campaign surrogate's racist video Tennessee court rules all registered voters can obtain mail-in ballots due to COVID-19 MORE warned during his first State of the Union address that North Korea may soon be able to strike the United States with a nuclear weapon.

“North Korea's reckless pursuit of nuclear missiles could very soon threaten our homeland. We are waging a campaign of maximum pressure to prevent that from ever happening,” Trump said Tuesday night.

Joint Chiefs of Staff Vice Chairman Gen. Paul Selva said earlier Tuesday the U.S. would likely only have a warning time of a "dozen minutes or so" if North Korea launched a missile in its direction.