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US missile defence system hits target in key test

Published on Jun 23, 2014 6:34 AM
A flight test of the exercising elements of the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense system is launched by the 30th Space Wing and the US Missile Defense Agency at the Vandenberg AFB, California on June 22, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - The US missile defence system managed by Boeing Co on Sunday hit a simulated enemy missile over the Pacific in the first successful intercept test of the program since 2008, the US Defense Department said.

The successful intercept will help validate the troubled Boeing-run Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system which provides the sole US defence against long-range ballistic missiles, and the Raytheon Co kill vehicle that separates from the rocket and hits an incoming warhead.

"This is a very important step in our continuing efforts to improve and increase the reliability of our homeland ballistic missile defense system," said Missile Defense Agency (MDA)Director Vice Admiral James Syring.

He said the agency would continue its ongoing drive to ensure that the ground-based interceptors and overall homeland defence system were effective and dependable.

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