The Pentagon on
Friday said it had successfully tested an anti-ballistic missile system off the
west coast of Hawaii, increasing the capacity to knock down missiles targeting
the United States and its allies, The New York Times reported.
The intercepting missile, which is being developed by the United States and Japan, was launched from the USS John Finn on Friday after radar on the destroyer detected and tracked the medium-range ballistic target missile.
In August, the Pentagon was given the mandate to pursue more options for defeating US-bound North Korean missiles by using radar and more missiles to spot and shoot down inbound threats.
The military has been exploring whether the United States can add another layer to defenses to those already in place for intercepting incoming missiles.
The Aegis system, used in the latest test, was fitted with a Standard Missile 3 Block IIA (SM-3 IIA) interceptor being developed in a joint venture between Raytheon Co and Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd.
Aegis ships could patrol the Pacific Ocean and augment the network of ground-based mid-course defense interceptor missiles in Alaska and California that protect the United States from intercontinental ballistic missile attacks.