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Pentagon Conducts Missile Intercept Test

A U.S. Navy warship late Tuesday eliminated a mock ballistic missile during an intercept test near Hawaii, the Defense Department said.

The medium-range ballistic missile target took off at 11:10 p.m. local time from the Pacific Missile Range Facility on the island of Kauai. Monitoring satellites identified the target and relayed information to the USS Lake Erie, which carries Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense technology. The guided missile cruiser fired a Standard Missile 3 Block 1A interceptor, which deployed a hit-to-kill warhead that brought down the target, according to a Pentagon press release.

The Navy and the Missile Defense Agency collaborated on the drill.

"Initial indications are that all components performed as designed," the Pentagon said. "Program officials will assess and evaluate system performance based upon telemetry and other data obtained during the test."

There have now been 24 intercept drills that ended as planned in 30 attempts involving the Aegis system since 2002. More broadly, 58 of 73 U.S. ballistic missile defense kinetic intercept attempts have been successful since 2001.

Aegis technology is intended to counter short- to intermediate-range ballistic missiles.

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