New SM-6 intercepts ballistic missile target at sea

Missiles fired from a U.S. Navy ship intercepted an airborne target in a successful ballistic-missile defense test off the coast of Hawaii yesterday (Aug. 29), U.S. military officials said.

The vessel detected and tracked the target missile launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai, Hawaii with its onboard AN/SPY-1 radar, the statement read.

Gen. Sam Greaves said the Hawai'i test gives Navy ships enhanced capability to defeat ballistic missiles in their last stage of flight.

"We will continue developing ballistic missile-defence technologies to stay ahead of the threat as it evolves", he said.

The target was successfully intercepted by SM-6 missiles fired from the USS John Paul Jones.

Guided-missile destroyers such as the John Paul Jones could be used to intercept a North Korean missile from locations in the Sea of Japan and elsewhere in the Pacific.

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Instead, Trump's terse, written statement reiterating that all USA options are being considered pointed to an administration cautiously searching for an effective policy, even as the North's test risked endangering Japanese civilians.

The latest in a series of missile tests came as South Korea and the US conducted war games in the region.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says North Korea's latest provocative missile test is a reckless violation of Japan's sovereignty. It was the third time a North Korean missile overflew one of Japan's four main islands, with previous tests in 1998 and 2009. An earlier test of the same interceptor in February succeeded.

Last week, the House of Commons defence committee held a rare summer sitting to discuss the North Korea situation and to discuss whether Canada should consider joining the US ballistic missile defence shield for North America.

Like prior versions in Raytheon's Standard Missile series, the SM-6 originally was developed to shoot down air threats like cruise missiles and aircraft.

  • Megan Austin