A Raytheon Co. advanced SM-3 interceptor missile failed to hit its target over the Pacific Ocean Thursday in its first flight test, the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency said.
The Standard Missile-3 Block 1B, part of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense system, was launched from the Navy cruiser USS Lake Erie early Thursday morning, 90 seconds after a short-range ballistic missile target was launched from a range on Kauai.
"An intercept of the target was not achieved," the Missile Defense Agency said in a written statement. Thursday’s launch marked the first test flight for the advanced SM-3 Block 1B. Defense officials will conduct an "extensive investigation" to determine the cause of the failure, the agency said.
There have been 22 successful intercepts in 27 at-sea attempts since the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense flight testing began in 2002, the agency said.