Another test of the U.S. missile defense system went off without a hitch on Sunday.
Reports from the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) say that the 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade conducted the fifteenth test of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system located at the Pacific Spaceport Complex Alaska in Kodiak, Alaska. On Sunday, THAAD detected, tracked, and intercepted a medium-range ballistic missile air-launched from a U.S. Air Force C-17 over the Pacific Ocean. So far, THAAD has a perfect 15 out of 15 test record.
THAAD “provides a globally-transportable, rapidly-deployable capability to intercept ballistic missiles inside or outside the atmosphere during their final, or terminal, phase of flight. THAAD is strictly a defensive weapon system. The system uses hit-to-kill technology where kinetic energy destroys the incoming target,” the MDA explained.
Prior to the test, the Coast Guard put out a warning to local mariners to stay out of the area earlier this week, although they did not specify exactly when the test was to take place.
According to the MDA, the missile defense team “conducted launcher, fire control and radar operations using the same procedures they would use in an actual combat scenario.”
The THAAD test occurred just two days after North Korea launched yet another intercontinental ballistic missile test which demonstrated that they may in fact have the ability to strike the continental U.S. with a nuclear warhead. Although THAAD is not designed to destroy intercontinental ballistic missiles, it does serve as a reliable defense against short-, medium-, and intermediate-range ballistic missiles.
THAAD batteries were installed in South Korea in March after North Korea launched a series of short-range ballistic missiles splashed down into the East Sea/Sea of Japan.
Up until this latest North Korean missile test demonstrating that the country is pushing forward in its diabolical plan to inflict a hurting on its perceived enemies, the new liberal South Korean President Moon Jae-in has been morally opposed to THAAD, saying that it unnecessarily ramps up tensions with China, Russia, and North Korea.
In light of that opinion, deployment of THAAD has been delayed since he took office, but the latest missile test seems to have changed the South Korean leader’s mind. On Friday, his government actually reached out to Washington and requested additional THAAD batteries. In fact, he even asked for heavier warheads to protect his country from North Korea’s long-range ballistic missiles.
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