United States for the first time has successfully tested its defence system against an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
During the test, a ground based interceptor launched from the California air base had shot down a mock intercontinental ballistic missile target which was fired from the Reagan Test Site in the Marshall Islands. A rocket from the Ground-based Midcourse Defence (GMD) entered into space and deployed its exo-atmospheric kill vehicle that smashed the target destroying it. Such an interception of a complex, threat-representative ICBM target is hailed as an important milestone for the GMD system.
The GMD uses globally deployed sensors to detect and track ballistic missile threats.
The test comes at the backdrop of US’s increased tensions with North Korea. Recently, North Korea test fired its ninth missile this year. North Korea’s quest is to develop weapons capable of hitting the United States.
The test was the first live-fire test against a simulated ICBM for the Ground-Based Missile (GBM) Defense. It has hleped in the establishment of effective though limited ground-based defence against ICBMs. The United States is also worried about Iran’s increasing missile capabilities that threaten its strategic interests in the Middle East.