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Pearl Harbor-based ship tests missile defense system

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An interceptor missile, launched from the Pearl Harbor-based USS Lake Erie in waters off Hawaii, destroyed a separating short-range ballistic missile target launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility at Barking Sands, Kauai Wednesday night, the Defense Department announced.

It was the third successful test of the Standard Missile-3 or SM-3 IB missile using the Aegis BMD 4.0 Weapon System.

In a news release, Riki Ellison, chairman of the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance, said the test shows the ability of the system to defend against a medium-range ballistic missile, similar to missiles that the North Koreans have.

The missile target was launched from Kauai at 11:25 p.m. and was tracked by the AN/SPY-1 radar on the USS Lake Erie, which calculated an intercept patch and launched the SM-3 IB missile. The SM-3 released a kinetic warhead into the path of the target during re-entry and destroyed the missile target using only the force of the impact.

Previous successful tests of the SM-3 missile were on May 9, 2012 and June 26, 2012. The test is the 25th successful intercept in 31 flight test attempts for the Aegis BMD program since flight testing began in 2002.

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