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Missile Defense Agency confirms failed test off Kauai

A missile test that launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai failed Wednesday morning.

The Missile Defense Agency confirmed the outcome Thursday, after the interceptor failed to hit its target.

The technology is being developed in cooperation with Japan, and will be deployed on land as well as aboard ships.

A full statement follows:

"The Missile Defense Agency and U.S. Navy sailors manning the Aegis Ashore Missile Defense Test Complex (AAMDTC) conducted a live-fire missile flight test Jan. 31 using a Standard-Missile (SM)-3 Block IIA missile launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Kauai, Hawaii. This was a developmental and operational test of a new capability and utilized a missile variant not yet in production. The primary objective of the test, to intercept an air-launched intermediate-range ballistic missile target with an SM-3 Block IIA missile, was not achieved. However, much was still learned that demonstrated an increase in the effective range of the overall ballistic missile defense system.

Several firsts were accomplished as a result of this mission, which included using both ground and space-based sensors to remotely cue the launch of the interceptor by the Aegis weapon system. This was also the first time an SM-3 Block IIA missile was launched from land using the Aegis Ashore test complex. The test also demonstrated a highly complex multi-domain command, control, battle management and communications system, which was used by operational crews to execute the mission.

"We always make progress every time we conduct a test," said MDA Director Lt. Gen. Sam Greaves. "While we are disappointed that we did not demonstrate a successful intercept, we did demonstrate significant advances in capability and collected valuable test data that will allow us to further improve our capability and capacity of the ballistic missile defense system. We are committed to protecting and defending our nation, its warfighters, friends and allies against all ranges of ballistic missiles in all phases of flight."

MDA will conduct an extensive investigation to determine the cause or causes of any anomalies that may have prevented a successful intercept."


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