"An Incredible Accomplishment": Pentagon Successfully Shoots Down Simulated ICBM Attack

Tyler Durden's picture

Update: according to the Pentagon, the much anticipated intercept of an intercontinental ballistic missile was a success, and the mock ICBM warhead was shot down over the Pacific "in a success for America's missile defense program." The test was the first of its kind in nearly three years, and was the first test ever targeting an intercontinental-range missile like North Korea is developing.

The Missile Defense Agency said it was the first live-fire test against a simulated ICBM for the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) and hailed it as an "incredible accomplishment."

"This system is vitally important to the defense of our homeland, and this test demonstrates that we have a capable, credible deterrent against a very real threat," Vice Admiral Jim Syring, director of the agency, said quoted by Reuters.

"This is one element of a broader missile defense strategy that we can use to employ against potential threats," Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis told reporters.

A successful test was by no means guaranteed and the Pentagon sought to manage expectations earlier in the day, noting that the United States had multiple ways to try to shoot down a missile from North Korea.

In a just released statement, the Missile Defense Agency said that during the test, an ICBM-class target was launched from the Reagan Test Site on Kwajalein Atoll in the Republic of the Marshall Islands. Multiple sensors provided target acquisition and tracking data to the Command, Control, Battle Management and Communication (C2BMC) system. The Sea-Based X-band radar, positioned in the Pacific Ocean, also acquired and tracked the target. The GMD system received the target tracking data and developed a fire control solution to intercept the target.

Full statement from the Pentagon below:



The U.S. Missile Defense Agency, in cooperation with the U.S. Air Force 30th Space Wing, the Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense and U.S. Northern Command, today successfully intercepted an intercontinental ballistic missile target during a test of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) element of the nation's ballistic missile defense system.


This was the first live-fire test event against an ICBM-class target for GMD and the U.S. ballistic missile defense system.


During the test, an ICBM-class target was launched from the Reagan Test Site on Kwajalein Atoll in the Republic of the Marshall Islands. Multiple sensors provided target acquisition and tracking data to the Command, Control, Battle Management and Communication (C2BMC) system. The Sea-Based X-band radar, positioned in the Pacific Ocean, also acquired and tracked the target. The GMD system received the target tracking data and developed a fire control solution to intercept the target.


A ground-based interceptor was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, and its exo-atmospheric kill vehicle intercepted and destroyed the target in a direct collision.

Riki Ellison, founder of the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance, described the test as "vital" prior to launch. "We are replicating our ability to defend the United States of America from North Korea, today," Ellison said.

As Reuters adds, a test failure could have deepened concern about a program that according to one estimate has so far cost more than $40 billion. In the fiscal year 2018 budget proposal sent to Congress last week, the Pentagon requested $7.9 billion for the Missile Defense Agency, including about $1.5 billion for the GMD program.

A 2016 assessment released by the Pentagon's weapons testing office in January said that U.S. ground-based interceptors meant to knock out any incoming ICBM still had low reliability, giving the system a limited capability of shielding the United States.

Prior to Tuesday's launch, the GMD system had successfully hit its target in only nine of 17 tests since 1999. The last test was in 2014. This was the first test ever test targeting an intercontinental-range missile.

Finally, now that the US has quasi Star Wars capabilities, thus voiding the existing Mutual Assured Destruction paradigm which worked as a global deterrence shield for over 60 years, some have asked if today's successful test may not have actually raised the odds of a first strike against the US.

A clip of the GMD taking off in California:

* * *


As previewed last week, on Tuesday afternoon the US began the first ever missile test involving a simulated attack by an intercontinental ballistic missile, firing off an interceptor from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, according to a Reuters witness located at the airbase. The long-planned experiment comes amid increased tensions over North Korea’s ballistic missile tests.

Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) element launches during a flight test
from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, U.S., May 30, 2017.

As part of the historic attempt to intercept an inbound ICBM, a Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) interceptor was fired from the Vandenberg. The target vehicle, designed to resemble an ICBM, was fired from Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands.

The intercept should take place shortly over the Pacific Ocean. Reuters adds that it could be several hours before the U.S. military discloses whether the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) interceptor struck its target. The Kwajalein atoll is approximately 8,000 km (4,972 miles) from Los Angeles, California.

While the test comes as fears mount about North Korea's advancing program to develop an ICBM capability, Pentagon official who spoke on condition of anonymity told Stars and Stripes last week said that Tuesday’s test was planned “years in advance” and is not a direct response to recent North Korean tests of ballistic missiles.

Despite the denial, many are skeptical: while North Korea currently lacks the capability to hit the US mainland, the US military intelligence chief recently warned that such a development is only a matter of time.

The test interceptor is equipped with an Exo-atmospheric Kill Vehicle (EKV), which is supposed to destroy the target vehicle with a direct hit. “This will be the first test of an upgraded kill vehicle, and the first test against an ICBM-class target,” US Missile Defense Agency spokesman Chris Johnson said in a statement.

Deployed in 2004 by the Bush administration, the GMD has never been used it combat. This is the first intercept test since 2014. There are currently 32 interceptor missiles in Fort Greely, Alaska and four at Vandenberg. Eight more are supposed to come on-line by the end of this year, AP reported.

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Joe Cool's picture

Nukes will never be used....

thefinn's picture

Perhaps correct, but perhaps not.

Even if correct, the ability to shoot them down will work as just as an effective political foil as the nukes themselves.

Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

So lets say Russia has 2,000 nuclear weapons.  If our missile defense is 98% effective, that means 40 of those nukes still get through.  40 Us cities go up in smoke.  How many millions still die??  Nuclear war is UNWINNABLE. 

knukles's picture

Just as long as they don't fall in my back yard that's OK by me.

                  Boeing product, BTW

AVmaster's picture

2,000 still is not nearly enough to put us out of business(they actually do have around 2000 operational bombs)...

That's barely all the military bases we have...


But russia has the europe conundrum. 

They have to split their nukes between us and europe plus keep half in reserve for second strike.

So in the end, we might get 500 bombs sent our way. 

No shit....


A EMP attack is what we REALLY, REALLY need to prepare for.

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

In other news, DPRK is cancel all regularly schedule ballistic missile launch until further notice.

BullyBearish's picture

don't mess with our air force...look at how well they performed during 911...

Vatican_cameo's picture


Supposedly the "Patriot Missile" used in the Middle East was touted as a Success (even though it only intercepted and destroyed 13% of the SCUD missiles it was launched to intercept).  It was a Success for Raytheon (who pocketed $7 million a piece for the missile and launching system) selling these "Flying Garbage Cans" to the Military, but not such a big hit with people on the ground.  It appears that "Success" is a very Subjective term.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

In previous 'tests', the target carried what was essentially a homing beacon designed to allow the interceptor to find the target and destroy it. Even then, it was only successful half the time at best.

I wonder if this was a 'real' test?

SomebodySpecial's picture

I feel SO safe now that "they" have "proven" that they can shoot down an icbm they have known for months now!

If the maps are TRUE then they didn't shoot down anything because the sword ended up in the middle of Kwajalein lagoon.

Took Red Pill's picture

"Simulated" attack. Sounds like propaganda to me.

Dormouse's picture

The multi-billion dollar, US taxpayer-funded Iron Dome in Israel destroys "virtual" targets inside the computer. The contrails and/or exhaust of Palestinian rockets are never visible, just the Israeli missiles and the puff of smoke and report from destroying their target. Sounds like an expensive fireworks show to "simulate" an attack.

Sir Edge's picture


Dear Military Industrial MSM Bullshit Video's That Prove... Exactly Nothing... 

The MIC provide the MSM with a video showing the launching of a rocket... and then claim that The US Military HAVE SUCCESSFULLY INTERCEPTED AN INCOMING ICBM MISSILE in a simulated attack... what is this crap ?

Show it to us boys... not the Green Screen BS That you use everywhere... but the missile that was launched taking out the incoming ICBM missile... showing what our BILLIONS of taxpayer money is actually going to... or is this another actually made up story.

Don't show me another puppet show... Don't interrupt the flight of the rocket and tell me it was successful !!!


Otherwise I prefer Disney productions... or NASA's ISS Harness Actors... 


What is this bullshit... You want me to swallow this like the fake Iraq W1 CNN scene of a bombing gas attack that can be seen on youtube even today... etc.

You are telling me you guys hit a super sonic bullet with ANOTHER supersonic bullet... !

Really... Prove It... or i am not buying it...

And please... Stop with the war porn about Korea so our US Gov and Co. can follow thru with more American Military Syrian War Crimes where the real military action and strategy is taking place.

Kushner is NOT Korean or Japanese or Chinese or even close... That should be the first hint. Maybe the following images and story should be a coloring book titled --- By Way Of Deception Do We Do War... 





Oh regional Indian's picture

Word Brother Edgy...

The earth IS flat. It ISS flat ;-)

Daily Bail's picture

Best thing I've seen on Fake News CNN in months. Inspiring beatdwon of Alyson Camerota...




lil dirtball's picture

> I wonder if this was a 'real' test?

After spending the better part of my life under the cloud of the Cold War - I can only ponder how anyone talks about this shit with a straight face? This is about d0llars for the desense industry ... the MIC. All for them - none for you.

But boy-howdy, don't I feel safe ... from whom, I'm no longer sure.

Dormouse's picture

With the ubiquitous special effects beamed into our homes on a daily basis, go back and watch the nuclear test videos of the 1940s,1950s, and 1960s. There are some good YouTube videos that compile all the above ground tests. Use your thinking-brain; the curious, dirty one, not the one that's been washed repeatedly and tumbled dry. Then remember how often our government has been caught lying to our faces. Took me a while to wrap my head around it too.

Zorba's idea's picture

the flip of a coin odds are the best results from AI? What progress the MIC has made! USA! USA! USA!

logicalman's picture

Was it MIRVed?

Were there decoys?

MIC claimed success, thereby guaranteeing a few gazillion dollars of funding.

Time for another beer.


The Ram's picture

Let me interject a little history.  I recall an ABM treaty like way back in the 60's and 70's. ABM would be anti-ballistic missle.  Now, since we have had ABMs since presumably the 60's, are we saying that we are just getting around to testing the effectiveness?  Seems to me something is wrong with the timeline here.  Kind of like MS announcing they have conducted a successful test for Windows 1.0.

swmnguy's picture

According to the story,

"Multiple sensors provided target acquisition and tracking data to the Command, Control, Battle Management and Communication (C2BMC) system. The Sea-Based X-band radar, positioned in the Pacific Ocean, also acquired and tracked the target. The GMD system received the target tracking data and developed a fire control solution to intercept the target."

So, they were able to hit a thing that was sending them a homing signal.

I guess all we need to do is make sure anybody shooting off a missile in anger sends us a homing signal, and we're all good. 


SilverRhino's picture

Apprently you failed reading comprehension.   

The TARGET did not provide anything to the interceptor.  It was a suite of multiple sensors that passed various data sets to the interceptor and then it hit the inbound ICBM test target. 

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

And could one of the 'data sets' possibly be certain specific information?

This was how it has been done in the past and the mainstream media was not told of this, at least not on the day of the 'test'. It usually comes out in industry specific journals, such as Aviation Week and Space Technology, where I learned about the previous 'tests'.

The mainstream media reports what it is told and doesn't ask questions.

edotabin's picture

They don't even know how to ask a question anymore. Investigative reporting is completely dead. Just a bunch of drones following what seems to be some broadcast signal that directs the collective.

swmnguy's picture

The article does not say what you say.  You are layering your assumptions on top of what the article says, and then being nasty about it.

This is unfortunate, because it proves that you do not understand how propaganda is formulated by the corporate media working in synch with the military/governmental nexus of corporate and State power.  It would help you greatly going forward if you would get better at recognizing that technique.

For instance, let's pretend you didn't miss the point of the article.  Suppose it was merely signals being provided to sensor which then passed data to the interceptor which then hit the target.

You must be assuming that missiles fired by Russia, China, North Korea or SMERSH will be so sporting as to provide such data sets.

Should that not be the case, the performance of the interceptor will be much less impressive than you seem to expect.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

I, for one, welcome my alien American overlords.


Hey, Rhino hide - you think they were telling the truthm in that there news release ?

Fuck no - they handed out their spin regardless of reality.

A word of advice - don't eat yellow snow - it ain't frozen lemonade.  

SilverRhino's picture

Noted.   You guys might have a point with the propaganda bullshit theory.   Hadn't thought of that one. 


I'll take my lumps and go think on that.


I am astonished at your reply - you are a man of honor and integrity. 

Into Fight Club, got punched around, took your lumps, and agreed to jump start your critical thinking skills.

Kudos to you, sir. Coffee is on the stove, and bacon in the skillet any time you are in town.

You can spit on the mat, put your feet on the table, and call the cat a bastard here from this day forward.  

Diatom's picture

When I see an murikan school bus, when i see a Harley Davidson, when i see an murikan sports car, when i see an murikan high speed train, when i see an F35...


lil dirtball's picture

> murikan sports car


booboo's picture

Pigeons be afraid, very afraid.

Bastiat's picture

It would be an incredible accomplishment if the military admits what happened to the USS Liberty.

June 8th is the 50th anniversary.  Spend a 1/2 hour with Larry Weaver, the most severly wounded survivor:


HowdyDoody's picture

Meanwhile the House has passed 419 to 1, the House Resolution 1644 Korean Interdiction and Modernization of Sanctions Act.

This bill amends the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act of 2016 to increase the president’s powers to impose sanctions on anyone in violation of certain United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding North Korea. Specifically, it would allow for expanding sanctions to punish North Korea for its nuclear weapons programs by: targeting overseas individuals who employ North Korean “slave labor”; requiring the administration to determine whether North Korea was a state sponsor of terrorism and, most critically; authorizing a crackdown on North Korea’s use of international transit ports.

This means the US would interdict traffic heading to or from named Russian, Chinese, Iranian and Syrian sea and air ports supposedly involved in trade with North Korea. And that would be an act of war.

The bill is currently before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. Are there any grown ups on that Committee?

Zorba's idea's picture

THANKS BASTIAT! this historical event should be emblazoned in the mind of every american citizen. and they will know who their real enemy is!

Bastiat's picture

Two books I'd recommend for those interested.

"What I Saw That Day"  Phillip Tourney

"The Attack on the Liberty," James M. Scott

The first one for a passionate first person account by a surviving sailor.

The second, a deeply reserearched history by a Pulitzer Prize winning writer who also is the son of a surviving officer on the Liberty.

roddcarlson's picture

We always need an underwear bomber before we sell a Rapiscan, a 100 vote presidential election before diebold paperless voting machines that are ready to sell, and a North Korea that successfully tested it's ICBM before we ask the Americans to buy the Jews Raytheon missle defense system.  Just last week wonk boy's airforce was flying in Red Barons biplanes, and today he has a brand new LCD display courtesy of Rothchild if he plays the part. Like clockwork we always have the right thing and the right antagonist to sell that thing to the unwitting U.S. public.  If the public gets too bored we'll simulate an Apollo 13 mission to get their attention back on the Hollywood theatrics. Call me a skeptic but I'm not a new sailor to this port.

The Rothchilds will loan the U.S. the extra money for a slight interest charge with our own printing press.

kochevnik's picture

Dick told Air Force to stand down, in fairness

Koba the Dread's picture

The US Air Force performed perfectly during 9-11. It was ordered to stand down that day and not protect the skies over the United States and that is what it did. Senior Air Force officers were given promotions after 9-11. Which part of 9-11 don't you understand?

overbet's picture

These astronomical dollar numbers thrown around and look at our "enemies" defense budgets. How can we suck so badly? If NK had our budget they might take over the world in a week we cant clear out cave dwellers. What a money sucking machine.

Zorba's idea's picture

Wonderful news! Sound the "all clear" sirens. Let me know when we can intercept them over Pyongyang. thats how you de-claw the China "cat's paw."

Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

How do you stop the sub fired missiles from a few hundred miles away?  They arrive in a couple minutes and don't go sub orbital.

Jim Sampson's picture

Who's up next on "Who's got a Big Dick!"?

SWRichmond's picture

Is that the same thing as a simulated hunger strike?

Croesus's picture

@ SWRichmond:

No, that's what Obama says after he gives a private speech to Libtards.

No wait, I'm wrong about that, hold on:

It's what Podesta says to his "honored guests", after they've had their roofie-laced pizza.