Washington: The US military successfully shot down a medium-range ballistic missile Friday in a test of a new interceptor system, which is being co-developed with Japan and has been dogged by previous failures.
Sailors aboard the USS John Finn successfully detected, tracked and targeted the rocket with an SM-3 Block IIA missile during a test off the west coast of Hawaii, the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) said in a statement.
The successful operation comes after two failed intercept tests, in June 2017 and January 2018.
A test firing in February 2017 had been successful.
“This was a superb accomplishment and key milestone for the SM-3 Block IIA return to flight,” MDA Director Lieutenant General Sam Greaves said.
The MDA in January said America had so far spent about $2.2 billion on the system and Japan about $1 billion. The MDA could not immediately confirm if those numbers had grown.
The SM-3 Block IIA missile is part of the AEGIS Ballistic Missile Defense system and is made by arms giant Raytheon.