MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The US Missile Defense Agency said it had conducted jointly with the US Navy soldiers missile defense flight test, intercepting a medium-range ballistic missile target off the coast of Hawaii.
"The Missile Defense Agency and U.S. Navy sailors aboard the USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53) successfully conducted a complex missile defense flight test, resulting in the intercept of a medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM) target using Standard Missile-6 (SM-6) guided missiles during a test off the coast of Hawaii today," the statement read.
The vessel detected and tracked the target missile launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai, Hawaii with its onboard AN/SPY-1 radar, the statement read.
"We are working closely with the fleet to develop this important new capability, and this was a key milestone in giving our Aegis BMD [Ballistic Missile Defense] ships an enhanced capability to defeat ballistic missiles in their terminal phase. We will continue developing ballistic missile defense technologies to stay ahead of the threat as it evolves," MDA Director Lt. Gen. Sam Greaves said as quoted by the agency.
While it remains unclear if Pyongyang's missiles are technically capable of reaching the US territory, the change d'affairs of the North Korean Embassy in Russia told Sputnik last week that Pyongyang has finished preparationg for a strike on the US territory of Guam and is ready to carry it out in case of a "provocation."
In response, US President Donald Trump threatened to unleash "fire and fury" against North Korea if it endangered the United States in a move criticized by the US Democratic party, as well as some US allies, Russia and China, who consider a dialogue the only way to ease tensions on the Korean Peninsula. Following the latest launch, Trump said that "all options are on the table."