The U.S. failed to intercept an incoming missile during a test off of Hawaii Wednesday, CNN first reported Wednesday afternoon. The failed intercept test comes amid rising tensions over the development of North Korea’s nuclear program and a recent false missile alarm, which triggered widespread panic on the island.
The missile test was intended to see whether a Raytheon's SM-3 Block IIA interceptor could halt an incoming missile launched from an aircraft. Though the SM-3 Block IIA is still a work in progress, when all is said and done, the Pentagon is hoping the new technology will be able to defend the U.S. from the sort of intercontinental ballistic missiles North Korea has debuted in recent months.
The Pentagon acknowledged that the test itself occurred, but has so far declined to comment on the outcome.
The failed test, if confirmed, would signal the second unsuccessful test for Raytheon's interceptor this year. The U.S. did successfully shoot down a ballistic missile last February.
“The Missile Defense Agency and U.S. Navy sailors manning the Aegis Ashore Missile Defense Test Complex (AAMDTC) conducted a live-fire missile flight test using a Standard-Missile (SM)-3 Block IIA missile launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Kauai, Hawaii, Wednesday morning,” Mark Wright, a spokesman for the agency, said.
The U.S. and Japan are jointly developing the defense system to eliminate medium to-intermediate range ballistic missiles.
Cover image: U.S. Army 1st Lt. Tony Gosser with Task Force Talon, 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command, views a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) weapon system during a routine maintenance inspection on Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, October 26, 2017. U.S. Army/Capt. Adan Cazarez/Handout via REUTERS