WASHINGTON – The military shot down a Scud-type missile in another successful test of a new technology meant to knock down ballistic missiles in their final minute of flight, the Missile Defense Agency said Saturday.
A ship off Kauai fired a target missile at 9:15 p.m. Hawaii Standard Time Friday, or 3:15 a.m. EDT Saturday. Minutes later, soldiers with the U.S. Army's 6th Air Defense Artillery Brigade launched an interceptor missile from Kauai that destroyed the target over the Pacific, according to the agency.
The military says it already can shoot down missiles in their last stage of flight by using Patriot anti-missile batteries. The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system would be able to protect larger areas than the Patriot system because it intercepts targets at a higher altitude.
The new system had its first successful test last year at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico and two more successful tests earlier this year at the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai.
Saturday's announcement said the most recent test was the 31st "hit to kill" intercept in 39 tests since 2001 by ground and sea-based interceptors against short, medium and long-range ballistic missile targets.