The U.S. military says it conducted a successful test of a missile defense system early Wednesday using space tracking.
The Missile Defense Agency and Navy sailors aboard the USS Lake Erie successfully conducted a flight test of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) system, according to a Defense Department release.
A guided missile successfully intercepted a medium-range ballistic missile target over the Pacific Ocean.
A ballistic missile target was launched from Hawaii and flew northwest over the Pacific Ocean.
The in-orbit tracking system detected and tracked the target, and forwarded track data to the USS Lake Erie. The ship launched a SM-3 Block IA guided missile approximately five minutes after target launch.
The SM-3 maneuvered to a point in space and released its warhead and, using only the force of a direct impact, destroyed the target.
The Pentagon says it appears that the system performed as designed but it will further evaluate data obtained during the test.
The test was the 24th successful intercept in 30 flight test attempts since flight testing began in 2002.
Aegis BMD is the sea-based component of the MDA's Ballistic Missile Defense System. The Aegis BMD engagement capability defeats short- to intermediate-range missiles.