The US ground-based midcourse defence (GMD) system intercepted a ballistic missile target over the Pacific Ocean on 14 October, in the first test to involve target tracking by a US Navy Aegis destroyer. The test was the fifth successful intercept in seven flights since October 1999, and the fourth in a row, and keeps the programme on track for deployment of a GMD testbed in Alaska in 2004. The exoatmospheric kill vehicle, using onboard sensors aided by an X-band ground radar at the Kwajalein Atoll launch site, selected the warhead from among five objects, and achieved a hit-to-kill intercept, says the US Missile Defense Agency.

Source: Flight International