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United States antiballistic missile test fails in Hawaii

United States antiballistic missile test fails in Hawaii

The SM-3 Block IIA, which can be deployed from land or ships as part of the Aegis Ashore Missile Defense system, is a joint US-Japan project created to counter any missiles from North Korea or other countries in the region.

While North Korea's nuclear weapons program is the most advanced threat, Trump has vowed to seek new sanctions on Iran for its continued development of ballistic missiles. The missile is used to target intermediate range missiles.

The Missile Defense Agency did not comment on the outcome of the test but confirmed that one had taken place.

The SM-3 Block IIA can be employed on Aegis-equipped destroyers as well as with the Aegis Ashore system that Japan decided in December to deploy.

An official speaking on the condition of anonymity said a dummy missile had been fired near Hawaii today - but a missile defence system meant to disable the missiel in midair failed.

An intercept test for the missile last June also failed, but there was a successful test in early 2017.

Aegis SM 3 Block IIA missile
The SM 3 Block IIA missile Raytheon

The official said test data is being analysed to determine why the interceptor did not hit the target. The agency had a vague checklist for missile alerts, allowing workers to interpret the steps they should follow differently.

A Department of Defense spokesperson would only acknowledge to CNN that the test occurred, not whether it failed.

The Pentagon has not publicly admitted the reported failure because of ongoing tensions with North Korea.

Aegis missile systems were initially developed by the Missile Defense Agency and U.S. Navy for warships.

The Missile Defence Agency is considering several locations to install a new Terminal High Altitude Air Defence (THAAD) interceptor system similar to the one which protects South Korea against a potential attack from the North, according to congressmen Mike Rogers and Adam Smith. "It is a very expensive system and it would undesirable for the credibility of the missile to be hurt", the source said.

The secretive state, led by Kim Jong-un, have vowed to strike at the USA if they feel under threat.

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