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Pentagon Confirms Failure of Missile Defense Test off Kauai

Pentagon Confirms Failure of Missile Defense Test off Kauai

MDA systems have multiple layers and ranges and use sensors in space, at sea and on land that altogether form a defense for different US regions and territories.

Officials refused to disclose what went wrong during the botched demonstration and would only confirm that the test had taken place.

A US official says a missile interceptor failed to hit its target in a test conducted in Hawaii on Wednesday.

A SM-3 Block IIA missile, touted as a possible second layer of defense for Hawaii from North Korean threats, failed in a flight from Kauai's Aegis Ashore facility Wednesday when it did not intercept a target representing an intermediate-range ballistic missile, the Pentagon confirmed today.

A similar test conducted in July ended in failure as well, though the Department of Defense reported that it was the result of human error, rather than an issue with the system.

If confirmed, the test would be the second time this year that the missile, made by Raytheon, failed to intercept its target during tests. The SM-3 IIA will have to be tested again at Kauai before that happens.

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An intercept test for the missile last June also failed, but there was a successful test in early 2017.

Pyongyang has test-fired ballistic missiles on lofted trajectories into the sea around Japan multiple times, and officials said it would be very hard for Japan's current anti-missile defense systems to shoot them down if they were to threaten the country's territory.

Test data is being analyzed to determine why the interceptor, known as a Standard Missile 3 Block IIA, didn't shoot down the target, the agency adds.

CNN claimed the failed test occurred on Wednesday - but the Pentagon refused to confirm the report due to the Trump administration's increasingly sensitive stand-off with Kim Jong-un's regime.

The other two elements of this missile launch safety net include the powerful radar-based THAAD system recently deployed in South Korea to the chagrin of the Chinese, and America's troubled GMD missile defense system here in the United States.


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