Concerned about a North Korean intercontinental ballistic missile strike, officials at Vandenberg Air Force Base successfully sent up an interceptor to shoot down a simulated warhead.
Vandenberg has launched test missiles in the past, but Tuesday’s launch was different. Base officials successfully took out a missile programmed to act like an intercontinental ballistic missile that was launched from the Marshall Islands.
“The intercept of a complex, threat-representative ICBM target is an incredible accomplishment for the GMD system and a critical milestone for this program,” said MDA Director Vice Adm. Jim Syring.
“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.”
Though Tuesday’s test was successful, the interceptor has only succeeded 9 out of 17 times.
In the test, the Vandenberg rocket releases a 5-foot-long device called a “kill vehicle.”
It uses internal guidance systems to steer into the path of the oncoming missile’s warhead, destroying it by force of impact, reported ABC7.
The US Military says it conducted this test because of the continued missile test North Korea has been performing over the past couple months.
Kim Jong Un has vowed to create a nuclear-armed missile capable of reaching U.S. territory from North Korea. Over the weekend, they successfully tested another short range missile, which was in the air for about 6 minutes.
(Article By Jeremiah Jones)