The US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) has successfully tested the terminal high altitude area defence (THAAD) system in the Pacific Ocean.
The test was conducted as a show of force after North Korea launched an intercontinental ballistic missile on 28 July.
Known as Flight Experiment THAAD (FET)-01, the test was carried out in collaboration with soldiers of the 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade from Fort Bliss, Texas, to gather threat data from a THAAD interceptor in flight.
The THAAD system was tested by launching a medium-range target ballistic missile from a US Air Force C-17 Globemaster III over the Pacific Ocean.
Located at Pacific Spaceport Complex Alaska in Kodiak, the system successfully detected, tracked and intercepted the target.
MDA director air force lieutenant general Sam Greaves said: “In addition to successfully intercepting the target, the data collected will allow MDA to enhance the THAAD weapon system, our modelling and simulation capabilities, and our ability to stay ahead of the evolving threat.”
The latest test was the 15th successful intercept in 15 tests for the THAAD weapon system, MDA stated.
The MDA aims to develop and install a layered ballistic missile defence system to defend the US, its deployed forces, allies and friends from ballistic missile attacks.
The THAAD uses hit-to-kill technology to destroy incoming targets.
This defensive weapon system is said to provide a rapidly-deployable capability to intercept ballistic missiles inside or outside the atmosphere during their final phase of flight.