U.S. military tests ship-based missile
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Missile Defense Agency and the U.S. Navy successfully tested a ship-based ballistic missile interceptor system, a Department of Defense spokesman said Friday.
The test took place after 9 p.m. EST and involved the launch of a prototype interceptor missile from the Aegis guided missile cruiser USS Lake Erie and the launch of an Aries target missile from the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii.
The exercise was not an intercept test of the missile defense system, Maj. Mike Halbig, Defense Department spokesman said, but an intercept nevertheless occurred.
"The kinetic warhead was aimed at the target and resulted in a hit-to-kill intercept," Halbig said.
The objective of this launch was to test components of the interceptor system, such as guidance, navigation and communication.
Ballistic missiles travel to their target in three main phases: boost phase, mid-course, and terminal phase. This system is designed to hit ballistic missiles in the mid-course phase.
The prototype missile launched by the USS Lake Erie carried a lightweight exo-atmospheric projectile kinetic warhead.
The program managers plan to use data gathered from the test to learn more about kinetic warhead design and simulation models, and to gather data for the ground test program.
-- CNN Producer George Mathews contributed to this report
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