Intercontinental Ballistic Missile System Tested

United States has for the first time successfully tested its defence system against an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) over the Pacific Ocean on Tuesday in an exercise aimed at helping gauge American readiness to counter a potential threat from North Korea.

It was the first live-fire test against a simulated ICBM for the Ground-Based Missile Defense. A ground-based interceptor was launched at a California air base and shot down a mock ballistic missile.

During the test, the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency launched an interceptor rocket from an underground silo at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The interceptor hit and destroyed an intercontinental-range missile fired from a test site on Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific.

The Pentagon has other elements of missile defense that have shown to be more reliable, although they are designed to work against medium-range or shorter-range ballistic missiles. These include the Patriot missile, which numerous countries have purchased from the U.S., and the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, which the U.S. deployed this year to South Korea to defend against medium-range missiles from North Korea.