The U.S. successfully test fired a THAAD anti-ballistic missile system on Tuesday from Alaska that intercepted a target missile launched from an Air Force Cargo plane north of Hawaii, Fox news reported. The drill, which was scheduled in June, comes a week after North Korea successfully test-launched an intermediate, not intercontinental as it previously claimed, range ballistic missile capable of hitting Alaska. This was the 14th consecutive successful test of the THAAD, which has had a perfect record on each of the previous 13 intercepts.
The THAAD system, recently deployed in South Korea, is used to intercept short and intermediate-range ballistic missiles. It does not target intercontinental ballistic missiles;
"I couldn't be more proud of the government and contractor team who executed this flight test today," said Missile Defense Agency Director Lt. Gen. Sam Greaves. "This test further demonstrates the capabilities of the THAAD weapon system and its ability to intercept and destroy ballistic missile threats. THAAD continues to protect our citizens, deployed forces and allies from a real and growing threat."
Fox News was told it will be a few hours before imagery and video are released.
Soldiers from the 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade on Kodiak conducted launcher using the same procedures they would use in an actual combat scenario, the statement read. Soldiers operating the equipment were not aware of the actual target launch time.
The latest US show of force comes days after two US B-1 bombers flew to the Korean Peninsula from Guam to conduct a mock bombing run using dummy bombs on Saturday escorted by South Korean and later Japanese fighter jets. North Korea threatened a global nuclear holocaust in retaliation. The US also launched short range surface-to-surface missiles from South Korea hours after the North Korean missile test on July 4.
Last week, both China and Russia urged the US to dismantle the existing THAAD installations in South Korea, over concerns these may shift the regional balance of power.