U.S. Missile Test Intercepts 2 Targets
The U.S. military destroyed a cruise missile and a short-range ballistic missile during a test Thursday over the Pacific, the first time two test targets were intercepted simultaneously, the Missile Defense Agency said. The military fired the short-range missile from the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai. A Navy plane fired the cruise missile target used in the test. Sailors aboard the USS Lake Erie fired back. "The test demonstrated the USS Lake Erie's ability to engage a ballistic missile threat and defend itself from attack at the same time," the agency said in a statement.
USS Lake Erie (CG-70)A similar attempt failed in December when the first interceptor missile, designed to collide with the ballistic missile target, failed to launch. The military later determined the ballistic missile defense system had been incorrectly programmed. "Every test we do we take a different approach to further stress the ship and the system," said Rear Adm. Alan B. Hicks, commander and program director of Aegis ballistic missile defense, by telephone from Kauai. This is to "give us confidence if we have to do this in the real world that we can do it," the admiral said.