The United States Navy conducted a test of a ballistic missile defense system in Hawaii which failed, according to a report on Thursday.
The SM-3 Block IIA defense system failed to intercept a medium-range ballistic missile fired on Wednesday from a facility in Kauai, Hawaii, Defense News reported on Thursday.
The Block IIA was launched from the naval destroyer John Paul Jones.
While the destroyer did manage to detect and track the missile using sophisticated radar, it was unable to intercept it.
In February, the Navy conducted a test using the John Paul Jones, which is a ship used for missile defense purposes.
That test was successful in knocking down a medium-range ballistic missile.
‘Program officials will conduct an extensive analysis of the test data,’ a news release from the US Missile Defense Agency said Thursday.
The SM-3 Block IIA is an Aegis ballistic missile defense system jointly developed by the US and Japan.
It is being tested as part of the allies’ efforts to deter a potential attack from North Korea.
US Undersecretary of State Thomas Shannon said last week that North Korea’s nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) program would make the reclusive state a global threat if it became successful over time.
Shannon made the comment to reporters in Tokyo after his meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s top national security adviser, Shotaro Yachi.
Under third-generation leader Kim Jong Un, North Korea has been conducting missile tests at an unprecedented pace in an effort to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of striking the mainland United States.
Japan opened a missile defense drill to the public on Wednesday, a move it says will reassure the country it is ready to counter any missile attack by neighboring North Korea.
A PAC-3 Patriot battery drove on to the Asaka Self Defense Forces base near Tokyo, deployed its radar antenna and raised its missile launcher to firing position.
The drill is one of four being held across Japan.
‘Making this public is a way to reassure people about their safety and bring peace of mind,’ Akinori Hanada, an Air Self Defense Force major, told reporters.
North Korea has pushed ahead with its missile and nuclear weapons programs in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions, and regularly threatens to destroy the United States, Japan and South Korea.
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said this month North Korea’s advancing weapons programs were the ‘most urgent’ threat to national security and that its means to deliver them had increased in speed and scope.
South Korea has deployed the US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system to protect against the North Korean threat, angering China, North Korea’s lone major ally.
Japan’s PAC-3 batteries are the last line of defense against any incoming warheads. With a range of around nine miles, they are only able to protect larger cities and key government installations.
Advances in North Korea’s ballistic missile program have raised concern in Tokyo that its PAC-3 batteries and Aegis destroyers in the Sea of Japan could be overwhelmed.
Japan has begun a $1billion program to upgrade the PAC-3s to extend their range and accuracy, but the first of those will not be ready until 2020.
In addition to public PAC-3 exercises, some Japanese prefectures have also conducted missile attack evacuation drills in recent weeks.
Japan will follow these up with a series of 30-second public information broadcasts and newspaper ads beginning Friday advising people what to do in the event of a North Korean missile attack, the Yomiuri newspaper said.
A Japanese government spokeswoman declined to comment when asked about the report.
Source: Daily Mail