In what has been gloriously described as an incredible accomplishment, the Pentagon successfully intercepted and shot down a simulated intercontinental ballistic missile over the Pacific ocean earlier on Tuesday. The downed mock warhead was part of a long range interceptor missile drill, aimed at improving America’s defenses and to counter any potential threat from rogue regimes like North Korea (or Iran by that matter).
The Missile Defense Agency launched a state of the art interceptor rocket during the respective test from a subterranean missile silo at California’s Vanderberg Air Force Base. The anti-ICBM interceptor managed to seek, hit and destroy n mock intercontinental (as in long range) missile fired from an army test site (the Reagan Test Site), which is located in the Pacific ocean, on the Kwajalein Atoll respectively.
The Pentagon boasted their success, calling Tuesday’s drill as a critical milestone for the US Missile Defense Agency. Director Vice Adm. Jim Syring, who is the director of the USMDA was quoted by Reuters as saying:
This system is vitally important to the defense of our homeland, and this test demonstrates that we have a capable, credible deterrent against a very real threat. I am incredibly proud of the warfighters who executed this test and who operate this system every day
It’s pretty obvious that Pentagon’s latest anti-ICBM test comes as a response to the threat perceived from North Korea’s developing weapons program. Also, this makes for the first test of its kind in more than 3 years. A Pentagon spokesman, namely Captain Jeff Davis has said during a press conference:
“This is one element of a broader missile defense strategy that we can use to employ against potential threats,”
It’s worth mentioning that the successful $244,000,000 test is by no means a 100% guarantee that the US military is capable of defending the homeland from overseas enemies using ICBMs, as there are various means for tricking interceptors via using decoys (false targets) or jamming the radar and so on and so forth. Also, the GMD interceptor tested today has been described as having low reliability and a limited capability of shielding the homeland.
However, the US military uses a number of methods with regard to missile defense, which have been shown to be more reliable, even if they’re designed to counter short/medium range ballistic missiles, the likes of the Patriot missile system and THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense).
Photo: Michael Peterson / MDA