The U.S. intercepted a simulated intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) for the first time using Boeing’s Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system. The system has been used to intercept missiles before, but never an ICBM. Reuters is reporting that an interceptor based out of Vandenberg Air Force Base in CA was used to shoot down a target similar to an ICBM over the Pacific Ocean. U.S. Officials are stating this is not in response to any specific events and that the test was planned well in advance.
The U.S. military on Tuesday cheered a successful, first-ever missile defense test involving a simulated attack by an intercontinental ballistic missile, in a major milestone for a program meant to defend against a mounting North Korean threat.
The U.S. military fired an ICBM-type missile from the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands toward the waters just south of Alaska. It then fired a missile to intercept it from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
Experts compare the job to hitting a bullet with another bullet and note the complexity is magnified by the enormous distances involved.
The Missile Defense Agency said it was the first live-fire test against a simulated ICBM for the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD), managed by Boeing Co (BA.N), and hailed it as an “incredible accomplishment.”
“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,” Vice Admiral Jim Syring, director of the agency, said in a statement.
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