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On Monday, March 25, 2019, the United States Missile Defense Agency fired a dummy intercontinental ballistic missile from Kwajelain Atoll toward the west coast of the United States. Kwajelain is approximately 4000 miles away from the United States mainland.
#UnitedStates successfully tested a missile defense system to knock out an Intercontinental Ballistic #Missile class target, demonstrating its ability to defend against ICBMs from countries like #NorthKorea.
General Sam Greaves said 2 ground-based interceptors were used in test. pic.twitter.com/UoH70aDqkp
— Zain Khan (@ZKhanOfficial) March 26, 2019
The unannounced test was a challenging but important one, as it was meant to test the United States’ preparedness against potential missile threats from countries like North Korea or Iran.
#Pentagon carries out first test of new #missile systemhttps://t.co/7Lw7gkQIBD#MissileDefense pic.twitter.com/uS3iPBfRNZ
— SporeLa News (@SingaporeLa) March 26, 2019
Fortunately, the test went beautifully. The ground-based system launched two interceptors from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California after tracking the incoming missile as it flew. The first interceptor slammed the the dummy warhead and the second hit the largest piece left.
Cool imagery of the #missile impact the Department Of Defense just released pic.twitter.com/6CxzutLa2D
— Kaytlyn “The Thornback” Leslie (@kaytyleslie) March 26, 2019
It was important that the second interceptor continued to look for a target without being confused by the first interceptor. In a real emergency, multiple interceptors would be fired and they would all need to not interfere with each other.
“The Ground-based Midcourse Defense system is vitally important to the defense of our homeland, and this test demonstrates that we have a capable, credible deterrent against a very real threat,” – MDA Director Air Force Lt. Gen. Samuel A. Greaves
Below is the video if you weren’t lucky enough to get a glimpse of it in person!