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Pentagon declares test of Ballistic Missile Defense System a success

By Shelby Lin Erdman, CNN
updated 6:25 AM EDT, Mon June 23, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Branches of U.S. military conduct joint test of missile defense system
  • A simulated ballistic missile threat was launched from the Marshall Islands
  • Military says long-range interceptor launched from California did its job

(CNN) -- The U.S. military successfully conducted a test of the Ballistic Missile Defense System in a joint military exercise on Sunday, the Pentagon confirmed in a statement.

"This is a very important step in our continuing efforts to improve and increase the reliability of our homeland Ballistic Missile Defense System," Missile Defense Agency Director Vice Adm. James D. Syring said in the statement.

A long-range, ground-based interceptor was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, and successfully intercepted a simulated incoming ballistic missile threat launched from a test site on the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands, colliding over the Pacific Ocean.

The Pentagon says initially it appears that all the systems and components performed as expected.

The agency says it will spend the next several months conducting an extensive evaluation based upon telemetry and other data it got during the test.

"We'll continue efforts to ensure our deployed ground-based interceptors and our overall homeland defensive architecture continue to provide the warfighter an effective and dependable system to defend the country," Syring said.

A number of U.S. government and military defense agencies participated in the joint exercise, including the Missile Defense Agency, the Air Force 30th Space Wing, U.S. Northern Command, the Army and the Navy.

The Pentagon says Sunday's test of the Ballistic Missile Defense System was the 65th successful hit-to-kill intercept out of 81 attempts since 2001.

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