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United States shoots down ballistic missile in test amid recent North Korean provocations

31 August 2017

Monday's test missile was launched from Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai in Hawaii.

The USS John Paul Jones, a guided-missile destroyer successfully launched an SM-6 interceptor missile to shoot down the target.

Gen. Sam Greaves said Wednesday's missile launch was a "key milestone".

"The recent ballistic missile defense test off the coast of Hawaii demonstrates that Aegis can execute complicated missions against a medium-range ballistic missile target", said Paul Klammer, director, Aegis BMD, for Lockheed Martin. Monday's intercept test, like others the USA has conducted, was long planned, the MDA said.

Hawaii missile test on Monday: The latest USA test came days after North Korea fired a Hwasong-12 missile over Japan, an ally of the United States.

By firing a long-range missile over Japan that landed in the northern Pacific Ocean, North Korea is showing a total disregard for its worldwide obligations, she said in a statement Tuesday.

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The U.S. has lost a few Aegis destroyers in recent months, hindering missile defense in a volatile region.

The test, designated Flight Test Standard Missile-27 Event 2 (FTM-27 E2), marks the second time that an SM-6 missile has successfully intercepted a medium-range ballistic missile target.

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. That was the 15th intercept in 15 tests for the THAAD system, according to the MDA. A Standard Missile-3 Block IIA jointly developed by the US and Japan failed to intercept its target.

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.

In that test, the interceptor collided with the ICBM-class target over the Pacific Ocean a little more than one hour after it was launched.

United States shoots down ballistic missile in test amid recent North Korean provocations