The US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system successfully intercepted its target during a test run over the Pacific Ocean.
"The successful demonstration of THAAD against an (Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile) IRBM-range missile threat bolsters the country's defensive capability against developing missile threats in North Korea and other countries," the US Missile Defense Agency said in a statement on Tuesday.
MDA did not give the exact time or location of the intercept, which occurred on July 11, 2017. Situated at Pacific Spaceport Complex Alaska in Kodiak, Alaska, a US Army crew from the 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade at Fort Bliss, which controls all the operational THAAD batteries, detected, tracked, and intercepted the surrogate IRBM somewhere over the Pacific Ocean north of Hawaii. A US Air Force C-17 cargo plane air dropped the target missile during the experiment. Previous missile defense tests have also employed this air-drop method.
“This test further demonstrates the capabilities of the THAAD weapon system and its ability to intercept and destroy ballistic missile threats,” MDA Director U.S. Air Force Lieutenant General Sam Greaves said in a statement. “THAAD continues to protect our citizens, deployed forces and allies from a real and growing threat.”