Missile Defense Test Successful

Posted by bobbapink on Mar 16, 2002 at 10:51

Missile Defense Test Successful


WASHINGTON An interceptor rocket smashed into a dummy warhead 140 miles over the Pacific Friday night in the fourth successful test of part of the planned U.S. missile defense system, a Pentagon spokeswoman said.

The interceptor, launched from a tiny Pacific island near the equator, destroyed the dummy warhead at 9:41 p.m., Pentagon spokeswoman Cheryl Irwin said.

The test was the sixth of a prototype of a ground-based missile defense system. The interceptor successfully destroyed the dummy warhead in three of the previous five tests, including the most recent one in December. The military is also developing ship-based and other types of anti-missile systems.

The military launched the target missile from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at 9:11 p.m., Irwin said. The interceptor took off from Meck Island in Kwajalein Atoll at 9:32 p.m. and collided with the dummy warhead in space nine minutes later, she said.

Friday's test was the most complex of its kind so far. The dummy missile jettisoned three balloons to try to fool the interceptor. The most recent test included only one decoy balloon.

The Bush administration is pressing ahead with development of the anti-missile systems, saying the United States needs a defense if a rogue country like North Korea develops and fires long-range missiles at American shores.

President Bush announced last year he was pulling the United States out of the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty, which bans such missile defenses. Russia and some other countries have criticized the move.

bobbanote: while nay sayers say nay - bobba sez Yea!

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