Friday June 14, 12:21 am Eastern Time
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Pentagon reports successful missile defense test
WASHINGTON, June 13 (Reuters) - The Pentagon said on Thursday it had carried out a successful test over the Pacific of a sea-based missile designed to knock out medium-range incoming warheads in mid-flight
A statement said a Raytheon (NYSE:RTN - News)-made Standard Missile 3, fired from the cruiser USS Lake Erie, struck an Aries ballistic missile target that had been fired eight minutes earlier from Kauai, Hawaii.
"The primary objective of this test was to demonstrate the ALI (Aegis Lightweight Exo-atmospheric Projectile Intercept) system capability to hit the ballistic missile target," the statement said.
"Extensive engineering evaluation data was collected for analyses in preparation for future flight tests." The test followed a similar one in January.
The target was intercepted at an altitude of 100 miles (160 km), said Chris Taylor, a Missile Defense Agency spokesman.
The ALI system is part of efforts by the Bush administration to develop a missile defense that includes weapons based on land and at sea. Tracking satellites and air-based lasers are also part of the plan.
The Aegis computer-controlled radar was developed by Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT - News), which called the test on Thursday "a critical step in the United States' ongoing sea-based ballistic missile defense efforts."