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3 missiles successfully shot down in test off Kauai

The Hawaii-based destroyer USS John Paul Jones successfully shot down a simulated ballistic missile and a “raid” of cruise missile targets Thursday off the coast of Kauai.

One short-range ballistic missile target was intercepted by a Standard Missile-3 Block IB guided missile, while two low-flying cruise missile targets were engaged by Standard Missile-2 Block IIIA guided missiles nearly simultaneously, the Missile Defense Agency said.

The simulated enemy missiles were launched from the Pacific Missile Range on Kauai at 12:03 p.m..

The John Paul Jones, equipped with the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense weapon system, developed a fire control solution and launched one SM-3 Block IB guided missile to engage the ballistic missile target, the Missile Defense Agency said.

The SM-3 missile maneuvered to a point in space and released a kinetic warhead that honed in on the target’s re-entry vehicle, diverted into its path and destroyed the target with the  direct impact.

Also launched from the ship were two SM-2 Block IIIA guided missiles that successfully engaged the cruise missile targets.

The flight test marks the 29th successful intercept in 35 flight test attempts for the Aegis BMD program since flight testing began in 2002, the agency said.

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