MISSILE DEFENSE TEST A SUCCESS
The Washington Times National Weekly Edition for December 15-21, 2003, published a Reuters article reporting that a missle from a US Navy Aegis cruiser knocked out a dummy warhead over the Pacific on Dec. 11, the fourth intercept in five such tests of a sea-based anti-missile shield, the Pentagon said.
The Standard Missile-3 fired from USS Lake Erie of Kauai in the Hawaiian islands successfully engaged the target about four minutes after the target was launched.
The last such test, on June 18, failed when the interceptor missile missed its target.
Lockheed Martin Corp, the prime contractor for the Aegis weapon system and vertical launch system installed in Aegis cruisers and destroyers. Lockheed said the intercept took place outside the Earth's atmosphere during the target missile's descent. The Pentagon is seeking to build defenses that would also go after warheads in their boost and mid-course flight paths.
The Dec. 11 test was designed to evaluate long-range surveillance and track functions of the Aegis system.
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DO WE NEED MISSILE DEFENSE?
On October 30, 2000, the Associated Press printed an article, dateline Moscow, explaining that Russian officials were trying to find one of four short-range rockets accidentally launched from a Siberian military base. The rockets were rounds from a Grad launcher, a truck-mounted weapon that can fire 40 of the 9 1/2 foot-long rockets up to 21 miles in devastating rows.
One of the rockets exploded on site, injuring at least two people, two more landed without exploding and the fourth rocket had not been located.
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