Navy Test Of New Anti-ICBM Missile Fails

Three weeks ago, the US military conducted its first successful test of a ground-based anti-intercontinental ballistic missile system that had cost more than $40 billion to develop, with the Pentagon lauding the test as “an incredible accomplishment.”

But the Navy had no such luck on Wednesday following an unsuccessful test of a new ship-based anti-ICBM projectile. As the Missile Defense Agency announced in a press release, the test of the new SM-3 Block IIA missile - which was conducted jointly by the US and Japan's Ministry of Defense – had failed.

The test, conducted Wednesday, was the second intercept test of the SM-3, and the first to yield an unsuccessful result.  The previous test was conducted in February. The missile is being designed jointly by the US and Japan with the explicit intent of countering the threat posed by North Korea's increasingly sophisticated nuclear program, according to the MDA.

Here’s the full release:

"The U.S. Missile Defense Agency and the Japan Ministry of Defense conducted a development flight test today of a new Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IIA missile off the coast of Hawaii. A planned intercept was not achieved.


The SM-3 Block IIA is being developed cooperatively by the U.S. and Japan to defeat medium- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles. This is a new, developmental interceptor that is not yet fielded by either country.


At approximately 7:20 p.m., Hawaii Standard Time, June 21 (1:20 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time, June 22), a medium-range ballistic target missile was launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility at Kauai, Hawaii. The USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53) detected and tracked the target missile with its onboard AN/SPY-1 radar using the Aegis Baseline 9.C2 weapon system. Upon acquiring and tracking the target, the ship launched an SM-3 Block IIA guided missile, but the missile did not intercept the target.


Program officials will conduct an extensive analysis of the test data. Until that review is complete, no additional details will be available."


This was the fourth development flight test using an SM-3 IIA missile, and the second intercept test. The previous intercept test, conducted in February 2017, was successful.


Though currently still in the development and test phase, the SM-3 Block IIA interceptor is being designed to operate as part of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense system. Currently, the Aegis BMD system operates with the SM-3 Block 1A, SM-3 Block 1B, and SM-6 interceptors.

The Pentagon announced on May 31 that it had succeeded in thwarting a simulated ICBM attack using its Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system, which the military hailed that as “an incredible accomplishment.”

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.

That test was the first of its kind in nearly three years, and the first test ever to target an intercontinental-range missile like North Korea is developing. Full text of the news release from the Pentagon can be found 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.


The primary difference between the two anti-ICBM systems is that the SM-3 Block IIA missile is designed to be launched from a ship, providing the US with more flexibility when deploying it. The GMD system tested by the Pentagon last month is, as its name suggests, ground-based.


We now wait to see how the North will respond - specifically, whether the hermit kingdom will follow through with what would be its 10th ballistic missile test since the start of the year.  The US anti-ICBM test follows the death of University of Virginia student Otto Warmbier, who passed away earlier this week after being released to the US for medical reasons. Warmbier had reportedly been in a coma for a year after being arrested in North Korea. His crime? He was caught stealing a North Korean propaganda poster.


Manthong 07564111 Thu, 06/22/2017 - 20:35 Permalink

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If at first you don’t succeed… Spend a few billion more and try again.

In reply to by 07564111

Lore eclectic syncretist Fri, 06/23/2017 - 05:42 Permalink

The Chinese have already developed technology to prevent such mishaps.  Fenders are very affordable, fit any size of ship, and come in all different colors, including pink!  String a few thousand around your ship, and those filipino cargo boats will bounce right off.  Never lose a crewman again!  Collect them all and trade them with your friends!  Available online at Alibaba

In reply to by eclectic syncretist

countryboy42 Thu, 06/22/2017 - 20:24 Permalink

Wait, didn't this work in a Tom Clancy novel? Maybe they have not read that far yet. I won't spoil the ending.So, without raeding the article, how much did this cost us tax donkeys?

Vageling Thu, 06/22/2017 - 20:35 Permalink

Seems like North Korea isn't the only one fucking around with missiles. Guess both are clowning around. Guess some rather be the uber clown with their silly SM-3 missile. 

Vageling gnjus Thu, 06/22/2017 - 20:44 Permalink

Triple that. Makes one wonder about THAAD. Radars are nice and shit. When your missile can't find the target... Well. It's junk. Overpriced piece of fireworks. Maybe they should try helicopters and sprinkle money instead. Sounds cheaper and more effective then what these fools are doing. 

In reply to by gnjus

amusedobserver Cautiously Pes… Fri, 06/23/2017 - 03:26 Permalink

You seem confused, our weapons tests have been roaring successes.  Our anti-ship ship worked perfectly, and our anti-missile missile successfully evaded a collision after having its guidance software undergo a simulated hack and downloaded with Tesla Level 5 Autodrive.  The secret plan is to do the same to NK missiles so they won't be able to hit a thing.

In reply to by Cautiously Pes…

Walken Infinite_Trench Fri, 06/23/2017 - 00:03 Permalink

Sure, easily :D Just have to figure out how, when, with what to hit multiple very well fortified against such strikes missile bases deep in Russia's territory (stationary launchers for example are designed to withstand an indirect nuclear strike (not a direct hit, of course) and still be able to launch, not sure about the US variants). Then find all of the mobile launchers spread on combat patrols who knows where in deep woods, strategic bombers and submarines. Then to hit all of the launchers (several hundred total) AT THE SAME TIME. Yeah, also figure out how to hide the preparations for such a massive strike and the success rate of such endeavor. Any smallest failure is a guaranteed nuclear strike in response = game over. Other than that, great plan! :D 

In reply to by Infinite_Trench

War and Fleece Thu, 06/22/2017 - 21:11 Permalink

Why was Warmbier mentioned at the end of the article? Could the poor schmoe be politicized any more?His family pulled the plug on their newly returned cold potato. They weren't going to care for him in that state.Who would?Though I can laugh at this postings original content. Nobody is ashamed to say, we spent 40 billion R&D to build nonsense.OR it's propaganda to lull others into a sense of surety. 

roddy6667 Thu, 06/22/2017 - 21:22 Permalink

ICBM's become as irrelevant as B-29 bombers as more and more submarines with missiles can lurk undetected off the US shores. They can put a nuke into Wall Street, the White House, Langley or anywhere before the launch is even detected.
Also, Russia has been selling a missile system that is contained in an ordinary shipping container.

Thordoom Thu, 06/22/2017 - 21:35 Permalink

Imediately increase the military budget by 1 trillion because of the threats we face!! Eveything is broken.Look!!We needy yur money.And you can bet your ass Trump  will happily help them out......

rejected Thu, 06/22/2017 - 21:54 Permalink

I think the Navy might want to worry more about the ship killers being developed...An I wonder if N. Korea blasted the US for another missile launch?