Missile Defense Agency announces successful Alaska intercept

Preliminary indications showed that the flight test objectives were met and that the IRBM was successfully intercepted, the agency added.

The Alaska Aerospace Corporation is in a multi-year agreement with the U.S. Department of Defense Missile Defense Agency for a maximum of $80.4 million, according to Alaska Aerospace CEO Craig Campbell.

The U.S.'s monitoring system provides the U.S.as much as 20-30 minutes to detect missile activity and to determine a response.

The U.S. also tested the new SM-3 Block IIA interceptor in late June, but the system failed to intercept the mock mid-range missile.

Tuesday's test went smoothly, with the system intercepting 14 out of 14 targets over the Pacific Ocean north of Hawaii, according to the Missile Defense Agency (MDA).

The US-built anti-#Missile Defense System has successfully achieved its goal during the test on Tuesday, the US Missile Defense Agency announced. "The THAAD system then developed a fire control solution and launched an interceptor that destroyed the target's reentry vehicle with sheer force of a direct collision", a statement from Lockheed Martin, the system's manufacturer, states.

The United States deployed two THAAD launchers in South Korea in early May and four more are pending deployment following an environmental assessment by the current South Korean government. That has drawn fierce criticism from China, which says the system's powerful radar can probe deep into its territory. This was the first test where THAAD attempted to challenged an IRBM.

The current THAAD site in South Korea, in Seongju county, 300 kilometers southeast of Seoul, would allow the system to defend the southern part of the Korean peninsula.

The ground-based missile defense (GMD) system has been scrutinized for intercepting just 50 percent incoming missiles.

THAAD continues to have no ability to intercept ICBMs.

The problem is that, in that moment, while USA missile defense forces are praying their interceptor hits North Korea's nuclear missile, they're also relying on Russian Federation to be able to tell that the other interceptor missiles aren't a salvo of United States nukes.

John Schilling, a contributor to 38 North, a Washington-based North Korea monitoring project, downplayed the idea that THAAD might be seen as a backup to hit a longer range ICBM, saying that THAAD was not created to hit missiles traveling so fast.

Vanessa Coleman