US shoots down ICBM in space from warship for first time in successful test

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An intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) was shot down in space from a warship for the first time in a successful demonstration on Tuesday, according to the Missile Defense Agency (MDA).

The ICBM target missile launched from a test field in the Marshall Islands, located in the Pacific Ocean between Hawaii and the Philippines at around 12:50 a.m., and was shot down in space by a missile launched from a warship American at sea, the MDA announced.

It was destroyed by an SM-3 Block IIA advanced ballistic missile defense interceptor manufactured by Raytheon Missiles & Defense and co-developed with Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, according to a statement.

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An unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile from Air Force Global Strike Command is launched during a test at 12:21 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time on August 4, 2020, at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.
(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Hanah Abercrombie)

“This has been an incredible achievement and a critical milestone for the Aegis BMD SM-3 Block IIA program,” said MDA Vice Admiral Jon Hill. We have demonstrated that a ship equipped with a BMD Aegis equipped with the SM-3 Block IIA missile can defeat an ICBM class target, which is a step in the process of determining its feasibility as part of an architecture of layered defense of the homeland. ”

Bryan Rosselli, vice president of strategic missile defense at Raytheon Missiles & Defense, said the test was a “first of its kind” and shows the United States “has a viable option for a new layer of defense against threats. at long range. . ”

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Previous tests to shoot down the ICBMs were conducted using ground interceptors launched from bases in Alaska and California.

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“My congratulations to the entire test team, including our military and industrial partners, who have helped us reach this milestone,” added Hill.

Lucas Tomlinson of Fox News contributed to this report

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