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Ground-based interceptor missiles hit targets over Hawaii

By Bloomberg News

LAST UPDATED: 10:57 a.m. HST, Oct 5, 2011

Lockheed Martin Corp.’s Thaad Missile Defense System successfully intercepted two targets in a test over Hawaii early today, the U.S. Missile Defense Agency said.

The test marked the first time the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system detected and struck two different targets using two interceptors, Lockheed Martin said in a press release.

The first Thaad missile intercepted an air-launched short- range ballistic missile target in the test conducted at the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai. The second missile then intercepted a sea-launched short-range missile, according to the company statement.

“It was, by far, Thaad’s most challenging flight test to date and demonstrates the system’s advanced capabilities,” said Tom McGrath, Thaad vice president and program manager at Lockheed Martin, in a written statement.

Troops conducting the test did not know what day or time the targets would be launched, Lockheed Martin’s statement said.

The system, part of the Pentagon’s Ballistic Missile Defense System, is designed to destroy ballistic missiles inside or outside the atmosphere during their final, or terminal, phase of flight, according to the missile agency.

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