- Title: U.S. stages successful test of defense against simulated ICBM
- Date: 30th May 2017
- Summary: VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES (MAY 30, 2017) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF LAUNCH VARIOUS OF SPECTATORS VIEW OF MISSILE TRAIL JET TRAIL IN SKY VARIOUS EXTERIORS OF VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE
- Embargoed: 13th June 2017 22:28
- Keywords: Vandenberg Air Force Base interceptor launch ICBM North Korea United States
- Location: VANDENBERG AFB, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES
- City: VANDENBERG AFB, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES
- Country: USA
- Topics: Defence,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA0016J18093
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The U.S. military on Tuesday (May 30) cheered a successful, first-ever missile defense test involving a simulated attack by an intercontinental ballistic missile, in a major milestone for a program meant to defend against a mounting North Korean threat.
The U.S. military fired an ICBM-type missile from the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. It then fired a missile to intercept it from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
The Missile Defense Agency said it was the first live-fire test against a simulated ICBM for the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) and hailed it as an "incredible accomplishment."
A successful test was by no means guaranteed and the Pentagon sought to manage expectations earlier in the day, noting that the United States had multiple ways to try to shoot down a missile from North Korea.
Prior to Tuesday's launch, the GMD system had successfully hit its target in only nine of 17 tests since 1999. The last test was in 2014.
North Korea has dramatically ramped up the pace of its missile tests over the past year, with a goal of developing an ICBM that can strike the U.S. mainland.
The continental United States is around 9,000 km (5,500 miles) from North Korea. ICBMs have a minimum range of about 5,500 km (3,400 miles), but some are designed to travel 10,000 km (6,200 miles) or farther.
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