Experts are ecstatic over the data from last weeks Anti-missile test by the U.S. Military. The Pentagon’s successful interception last week of a mock North Korean intercontinental ballistic missile was the most realistic test to date, according to the military’s test office. Using a new 36 billion dollar radar system developed in cooperation with Orbital ATK Inc. and the Raytheon Corp.
The “hit-to-kill” warhead released in the test, “mimicked that of an actual operational scenario,” Army Lieutenant Colonel Roger Cabiness, a spokesman for the Defense Department testing office, said in a statement. The assessment of the testing office supported statements from the U.S. Missile Defense Agency that the $36 billion system of radar, command links and ground-based interceptors can defeat any long-range threat that North Korea or Iran can develop through at least 2020. Sources said the interceptor missile which was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California smashed into the test ICBM fired from the Marshall Islands at over 15,000 mph.
The military’s test office described the event as employing precision tracking “in an operationally realistic way to guide the interceptor to the target.” Col. Cabiness also noted that the incoming missile was accompanied by decoys in an attempt to throw the interceptor off course. Previous tests have been criticized as scripted and artificial by arms-control experts. But there were still some distractors from the test results.
Laura Grego, senior scientist for the Global Security Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, said in an interview “What I think it showed is that they’re on the right track in the fixes to this kill vehicle” but it didn’t prove a “realistic capability. A real adversary would try to confuse you as much as possible by launching at night, perhaps in the rain and with a barrage of decoys.”
Duma’s office conceded that the new system “has demonstrated capability to defend the U.S. homeland from a small number” of ICBM threats protected by “simple countermeasures” Cabiness said. The test also verified that successful corrections were made to the latest version of the interceptor after past quality flaws, according to Duma’s office.