Pentagon acknowledges failed missile defense test


Pentagon officials on Thursday acknowledged that a missile defense test in Hawaii the day before did not go as hoped.

“We can confirm it, and it did not meet our objectives,” Defense Department chief spokeswoman Dana White told reporters at the Pentagon.

“But we learn something all the time with these tests, and we learned something from this one and we’ll continue to improve our capabilities,” White added.


The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and the Navy on Wednesday conducted a live-fire missile flight test using a Standard-Missile (SM)-3 Block IIA missile.

The Raytheon-made missile was launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Kauai, Hawaii, and attempted to hit an intercept target launched from an aircraft.

At the time, officials would not confirm the outcome of the test.

“This was the first time that this particular block [missile] was used,” White said. “MDA is still gathering information and we’ll provide that information as quickly as we can.”

She added that Defense Secretary James Mattis has been briefed on the test, and MDA is still looking at the results.

The SM-3 Block IIA is being jointly developed by the U.S. and Japan to defeat medium- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles.

Tags Department of Defense James Mattis Missile defense Missile Defense Agency United States Department of Defense

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