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Navy ballistic missile intercept test ends in failure

It’s unclear whether missile defense that relies on missiles hitting other missiles will ever be reliable enough to be considered a realistic defense

(National SentinelNational Security: Weapons experts say trying to knock an incoming missile out of the sky with another missile is like trying to shoot a bullet with a bullet – which is why the Pentagon’s missile defense programs are so, as they say, hit and miss.

The Navy failed to intercept an incoming missile target during the most recent missile defense test, Defense News reports, noting that its most advanced destroyer was unable to make the intercept:

The U.S. Navy conducted a failed ballistic missile intercept Wednesday with its SM-3 Block IIA off the coast of Hawaii.

The destroyer John Paul Jones, running the Navy’s top-of-the-line Aegis Baseline 9.C2 combat system, failed to intercept a medium-range ballistic missile launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility at Kauai, Hawaii.

The destroyer detected and tracked the target on the AN/SPY-1 phased array radar but was unable to intercept it. It was the second test of this latest iteration of the SM-3. The John Paul Jones successfully shot down a target in February with it. That test was the first intercept using Baseline 9.2C.

The U.S. is developing its current naval intercepter with Raytheon. It is a joint project between the United States and Japan.

In late May the Pentagon conducted a successful missile defense test when missile from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California intercepted an incoming ICBM.

It’s unclear whether missile defense that relies on missiles hitting other missiles will ever be reliable enough to be considered a realistic defense. The U.S. is also developing laser technology aimed, in part, at missile defense.

 

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