The United States and Japan held a crucial test of missile defense THAAD, shot down a ballistic medium-range missile with new interceptor missile launched from the destroyer.
Agency missile defense has announced that John Paul Jones detected, tracked and shot down a ballistic missile target using its on-Board missile defense systems and interceptor Standard Missile-3 Block IIA. The test took place on Friday evening at the Hawaiian island of Kauai.
"Today's test demonstrates a crucial stage in the joint development of missiles SM-3 Block IIA" said the Director of the missile defense Agency, Vice Admiral Jim Suring. "The missile, developed jointly by the Japanese and the U.S. government, is of vital importance to both our countries, and ultimately will improve our ability to defend against the increasing ballistic missile threat around the world."
The test came at a time when the new U.S. Secretary of defense James Mattis was on his first foreign trip to South Korea and Japan. Missile defense was at the top of the agenda after the test by North Korea of missiles short and medium range last year. The U.S. is concerned that North Korea could develop a missile of distant radius of action, which can carry a nuclear warhead to reach the U.S. West coast.
The focus of the trip Mattis `were anti-missile system THAAD, which the US plans to deploy in South Korea this year. The THAAD system has drawn sharp criticism from China, which considers it as part of a broader U.S. strategy to expand its military network Alliance from Japan down to the South China sea.
But during his trip to South Korea, Mattis said that "provocative behavior" of North Korea was the sole reason for the deployment of THAAD. "No other nation that should be concerned about THAAD, in addition to North Korea," he said.
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