An Alaska-based missile interceptor similar to the system based in Guam successfully intercepted a simulated target yesterday over the Pacific Ocean, the military announced.
This was the 14th successful intercept in 14 attempts for the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, weapon system, according to the Missile Defense Agency.
The THAAD system provides a capability to intercept ballistic missiles inside or outside the atmosphere during their final, or terminal, phase of flight.
The military has stationed THAAD systems in Guam and in South Korea following North Korean threats to target U.S. military bases in the region and the U.S. mainland in general.
'I couldn't be more proud'
The successful demonstration bolsters the United States' defensive capability against developing missile threats in North Korea and other countries around the globe, according to the agency.
"I couldn't be more proud of the government and contractor team who executed this flight test," said agency Director Lt. Gen. Sam Greaves, in a statement. "This test further demonstrates the capabilities of the THAAD weapon system and its ability to intercept and destroy ballistic missile threats."
Greaves added: "THAAD continues to protect our citizens, deployed forces and allies from a real and growing threat."
The target for the test was launched by an Air Force C-17 aircraft over the Pacific Ocean north of Hawaii.
Soldiers from the 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade conducted launcher, fire control and radar operations using the same procedures they would use in an actual combat scenario. Soldiers operating the equipment were not aware of the actual target launch time, according to the agency.
The system uses hit-to-kill technology whereby kinetic energy destroys the incoming target, according to the agency.