The Department of Defense released video and photos today from a successful missile defense test this week off Kauai.
A missile fired from a new Aegis Ashore facility on Kauai shot down and destroyed a target representing a medium-range ballistic missile Wednesday night.
It was the first intercept test of a missile fired from the new $278 million Aegis Ashore system at the Pacific Missile Range Facility at Barking Sands on Kauai.
The video shows different stages and camera views of the launch, separation of the booster rocket and the intercept and destruction of the target missile.
A missile launched from the facility in May of last year created strange lights in the sky created by condensed water vapor trails. A missile target was not launched in last year’s test flight.
In Wednesday’s test, radar system at the Pacific Missile Range Facility detected and tracked a target missile launched from a U.S. Air Force C-17 over the ocean southwest of Kauai. The Aegis Weapon System used the tracking information to launch an SM-3 Block IB Threat Upgrade guided missile from Kauai to intercept and destroy the target, the Missile Defense Agency said in a news release.
The Aegis Ashore is a land-based missile defense system that is nearly identical to the Aegis systems based on U.S. Navy cruisers and destroyers. It’s designed to protect NATO forces in Europe from attack.
The missile defense system is being installed in Romania and is expected to be deployed in Poland in 2018.
The Aegis Ashore complex on Kauai includes a Mark 41 launcher, a four-story building with a SPY-1 radar and three 125-foot test towers.
The 21-foot-6-inch SM-3 missiles, which cost about $9 million to $10 million apiece for Block IA versions, use a kinetic warhead that smashes into a ballistic missile, destroying it.