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US military uses warship to shoot down ICBM in test of missile defense system

November 17, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

This picture taken 26 December 2011 shows the Pentagon building in Washington, DC. The Pentagon, which is the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense (DOD), is the world's largest office building by floor area, with about 6,500,000 sq ft (600,000 m2), of which 3,700,000 sq ft (340,000 m2) are used as offices. Approximately 23,000 military and civilian employees and about 3,000 non-defense support personnel work in the Pentagon. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read STAFF/AFP via Getty Images)

A missile fired from a US Navy warship successfully intercepted an intercontinental ballistic missile for the first time Monday during a test of the American missile defense system.

(CNN)A missile fired from a US Navy warship successfully intercepted an intercontinental ballistic missile for the first time Monday during a test of the American missile defense system.

US military personnel and sailors aboard the USS John Finn "intercepted and destroyed a threat-representative Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) target," using the warship's Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IIA interceptor "during a flight test demonstration in the broad ocean area northeast of Hawaii," the Missile Defense Agency said in a statement.

Previous tests of the missile defense system involved ground based interceptors in Alaska and California shooting down test ICBMs. Officials say having the ability of a warship to also shoot down a missile threat adds to the overall missile defense system's capability.

"We have demonstrated that an Aegis BMD-equipped vessel equipped with the SM-3 Block IIA missile can defeat an ICBM-class target, which is a step in the process of determining its feasibility as part of an architecture for layered defense of the homeland," he added.

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