The Missile Defense Agency has tested the Ballistic Missile Defense System‘s ground-based midcourse defense component during an exercise to evaluate its capability to intercept a ballistic missile target launched over the Pacific Ocean.
MDA said Sunday that a U.S. Army crew in Colorado remotely launched the interceptor missile from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base to target a threat-representative missile launched from the Reagan Test Site in the Marshall Islands.
“This is a very important step in our continuing efforts to improve and increase the reliability of our homeland ballistic missile defense system,” said Navy Vice Adm. James Syring, MDA director.
According to MDA, the test also used AN/SPY-1 and Sea-Based X-Band radars to track the missile target and the Capability Enhancement II Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle interceptor component to follow the target’s projected trajectory, then pinpoint and execute the target.
The Navy, the U.S. Air Force 30th Space Wing, the Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense and the U.S. Northern Command participated in the exercise.
BMDS will undergo further performance evaluations in the coming months using data collected from the test, which is the 65th successful missile intercept using “hit-to-kill” technology since 2001 and the 4th GMD intercept since 2006, MDA said.