The U.S. Defense Department has announced its decision to use the Kodiak launch site in Alaska to fire missile defense targets, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported yesterday (see GSN, Dec. 10).
In the decision — which was made after an environmental review — the Missile Defense Agency said it hopes to use the target missiles for intercept tests over the Pacific Ocean. No dates have been set for the launches, however, and officials at the Kodiak facility said they planned to build a single launch pad.
“We today have been given no plans, nor funding, no go-ahead to do any construction for an additional pad,” said Pat Ladner, executive director of Alaska Aerospace Development, which is operating the facility.
MDA spokesman Rich Lehner said the Pentagon wants to conduct at least one test target launch from Kodiak next year (Sam Bishop, Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Dec. 10).
Military officials also announced that they will attempt a sea-based missile interceptor test today. Officials will fire a missile from an Aegis cruiser to intercept a missile fired from the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Hawaii, according to MDA spokesman Chris Taylor. This is the third in a series of six sea-based exercises to test the Solid Divert and Altitude Control System, the Associated Press reported (B.J. Reyes, Associated Press/Washington Post, Dec. 11).