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Ground-based missile defense test misses target over Pacific

X-band radar ship left Pearl Harbor recently to participate in test

By William Cole

LAST UPDATED: 01:23 p.m. HST, Jul 05, 2013

An interceptor missile fired from a silo at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California in a test of the backbone of U.S. ballistic missile defense failed to hit a target missile over the Pacific today, the Pentagon said.

The miss is likely to raise questions about the reliability of a U.S. ballistic missile defense system the U.S. Government Accountability Office said has received $90 billion in funding since 2002.

  The Missile Defense Agency, U.S. Air Force 30th Space Wing, Joint Functional Component Command, Integrated Missile Defense and U.S. Northern Command conducted the flight test of the what’s known as the ground-based mid-course defense element of the nation’s ballistic missile defense system.

Mobile and ship-based missile defense systems also are part of the mix.

“Although a primary objective was the intercept of a long-range ballistic missile target launched from the U.S. Army's Reagan Test Site on Kwajalein Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands, an intercept was not achieved,” the Pentagon said in a release.

“Program officials will conduct an extensive review to determine the cause or causes of any anomalies which may have prevented a successful intercept,” the Pentagon said.

The $2 billion Sea-Based X-Band Radar, which is normally berthed at Pearl Harbor’s Ford Island but left port weeks ago, was to provide tracking for the test, officials said.

Ground-based interceptors have hit their targets in just eight of 16 tests, with the most recent successful test in 2008.

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go4it wrote:
It's like Shaq at the free throw line, 50% at best !!!!
on July 5,2013 | 01:27PM
HD36 wrote:
Looks like we gotta sink $1,900,800,758, 745.44 more into this program. By that time we'll be so broke our biggest fear will be our neighbors.
on July 5,2013 | 02:23PM
allie wrote:
I feel vulnerable out here
on July 5,2013 | 03:16PM
saywhatyouthink wrote:
considering the way you bad mouth just about everyone in this forum, I'd say your fears are justified.
on July 5,2013 | 03:41PM
Roosevelt wrote:
It's simple - if there's a 50% success record then we only need to double spending to achieve the goal
on July 5,2013 | 02:32PM
kiragirl wrote:
Barking Sands never missed their target.
on July 5,2013 | 02:54PM
false wrote:
We thanks a lot from all of us in Hawaii. Sheez, missed.
on July 5,2013 | 03:39PM
saywhatyouthink wrote:
To be able to hit a missile moving at supersonic speeds is not an easy thing to do, 50% isn't so bad
on July 5,2013 | 03:53PM
primowarrior wrote:
Maybe mutually assured destruction is still the best deterrent.
on July 5,2013 | 06:11PM
Retired_Navy_LDO wrote:
The Air Force has a less than stellar record with respect to anything that requires reliability. E.g., let’s go fly some nukes across the country and not even know we did……………. Intercepting a ballistic missile in flight is no simple matter but I believe the Navy has had more success with the ship bourn interceptors.
on July 5,2013 | 06:39PM
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