U.S. claims success in “most challenging” missile intercept test

Launch of a Fateh-110 short-range surface-to-surface missile by Iranian armed forces,  Aug. 25, 2010.

From Reuters:  The U.S. military said it had successfully completed its "most challenging" missile intercept test yet, using Lockheed Martin Corp and Raytheon Co hardware to shoot down an intermediate-range ballistic target over the Pacific.

The test, which took place Friday west of Hawaii, validated the capability of the first phase of President Barack Obama’s revamped approach to defending Europe and U.S. forces deployed there, the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency, or MDA, said in a statement.

The Obama administration is racing this year to complete the initial phase of a layered, multibillion-dollar antimissile bulwark in Europe. U.S. officials describe it as a hedge against missiles that could be fired by Iran and perhaps tipped with chemical, biological or nuclear warheads. …

The event was "the most challenging test to date," marking the first intercept of a shipboard Aegis combat system built by Lockheed against a target with a range greater than 3,000 kilometers (1,864 miles), the MDA said.

In addition, it was the first such Aegis test to rely on missile tracking data gathered by another, remote, radar station, the MDA said.  (photo: AP)  (via George C. Marshall Center)

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