U.S. conducts missile test over Pacific

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Navy guided missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones then tracked the target with radar, firing an interceptor missile that shot it down.

The target was a medium-range ballistic missile launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai, Hawaii. "We will continue developing ballistic missile defense technologies to stay ahead of the threat as it evolves". A sailor on the USS John Paul Jones triggered a self-destruct sequence by mistake.

In July, the Air Force launched a medium-range ballistic missile over the Pacific that was intercepted by a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system at a complex in Kodiak, Alaska.

"Earlier this year, our customer requested an enhanced capability to deal with a sophisticated medium-range ballistic missile threat", he said in a statement "We did all this - the analysis, coding and testing - in seven months; a process that normally takes one to two years".

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Although the test comes in the backdrop of Pyongyang's provocative ballistic missile test over Japan, the MDA claims it was planned way before in advance. An earlier test of the same interceptor in February succeeded. Washington and its allies called an emergency U.N. Security Council meeting for later Tuesday, but looked short on new ideas for stopping the nuclear and missile advances that are increasingly putting the US mainland within range.

Separately, the MDA this week awarded Raytheon Missile Systems a $615 million contract, with $45 million in fiscal 2017 funding obligated initially, to produce 17 Standard Missile-3 Block IIA ballistic-missile interceptors and perform related work.

The ground-based interceptor system was designed mainly to counter a North Korean missile threat, a US official said at the time.

The August 30 test launch was the third time that the Standard Missile-6 successfully engaged a ballistic missile target in its terminal phase.

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