US successfully conducts missile defence test

US successfully conducts missile defence test

The Aegis BMD-equipped ship, the USS Hopper, successfully tracked and intercepted a short range ballistic missile launched from the Kauai test facility on Thursday night, Lockheed martin, the makers of the BMD system said.

"The destroyer USS Hopper successfully guided the SM-3 interceptor to direct body-to-body hit, just two minutes after being fired from the ship," the officials said.

It was the 19th successful intercept out of 23 carried out by the interceptor missile.
US Naval sources said that the interceptor missile used was an upgraded Aegis BMD 4.0.1 system which is likely to be inducted into service in 2010.

"The advanced BMD system will improve the kill interception ratio against advanced threats," company officials said.

The test firing of the new interceptor missile comes after North Korea in open defiance of UN and Global pleas recently fired a salvo of long range Taepodong and short range missiles off the sea of Japan, posing a major threat to close American allies like South Korea and Japan.

Both the South Korean navy and Japanese coast guard ships are equipped with the earlier version of the Aegis BMD system. The Lockheed Martin has also demonstrated the missile to India, for probable sale to the Indian Navy.

US recently used the Aegis BMD system to destroy one of its rogue satellites.