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Japanese destroyer shoots down missile in test off Kauai

  • COURTESY MISSILE DEFENSE AGENCY / RALPH H. SCOTT, IIIA SM-3 is launched from the Japanese Ship Kirishima in a joint missile defense intercept test with the Missile Defense Agency in the mid-Pacific.
    COURTESY MISSILE DEFENSE AGENCY / RALPH H. SCOTT, III
    A SM-3 is launched from the Japanese Ship Kirishima in a joint missile defense intercept test with the Missile Defense Agency in the mid-Pacific.
  • COURTESY MISSILE DEFENSE AGENCY / RALPH H. SCOTT, IIIThe SM-3 successfully intercepted a separating 1,000 km class ballistic missile target that had been launched minutes earlier from the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Barking Sands, Kauai, Hawaii.
    COURTESY MISSILE DEFENSE AGENCY / RALPH H. SCOTT, III
    The SM-3 successfully intercepted a separating 1,000 km class ballistic missile target that had been launched minutes earlier from the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Barking Sands, Kauai, Hawaii.

A Japanese naval destroyer has shot down a ballistic missile in space in a test off Kauai.

The U.S. and Japanese militaries said today the JS Kirishima fired an interceptor missile that shot down a separating medium-range missile target about 100 miles above the Pacific Ocean.

The Pearl Harbor-based destroyer USS Russell and cruiser USS Lake Erie tracked the target missile.

Two other Japanese destroyers successfully shot down ballistic missiles in similar tests in previous years.

Japan has installed Aegis ballistic missile defenses on four Kongo-class destroyers.

The U.S. fired the test’s target from the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai.

The Kirishima detected the target, tracked it, then fired the SM-3 interceptor missile.

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