Reported by Ryan Pickrell | China/Asia Pacific Reporter | 4:56 PM 07/30/2017
The Department of Defense has released video footage of Sunday’s test of a U.S. missile defense system.
The U.S. military conducted a test of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system Sunday. A THAAD battery located at the Pacific Spaceport Complex Alaska in Kodiak, Alaska, detected, tracked, and intercepted a medium-range ballistic missile air-launched from a U.S. Air Force C-17 over the Pacific Ocean. Sunday’s test was the second successful test of the THAAD anti-missile system this month.
The U.S. began deploying THAAD in South Korea in March after North Korea launched a salvo of Scud missiles into the East Sea/Sea of Japan. The new South Korean government, after a period of initial hesitation and concern, is requesting additional THAAD batteries as the threat from its nuclear neighbor grows.
The THAAD system in South Korea is operational and has achieved initial intercept capability.
THAAD is not designed to intercept intercontinental ballistic missiles, like the one North Korea tested for the second time Friday, but it is an excellent defensive tool when it comes to short-, medium-, and intermediate-range ballistic missiles. In recent months, the North has successfully tested a precision Scud, the Pukguksong-2 (KN-15) MRBM, and the Hwasong-12 IRBM, all of which are new weapons systems rolled out this year. North Korea can use these missiles against its neighbors, specifically South Korea and Japan.
Japan has also expressed an interest in the THAAD anti-missile system, which has a perfect test record but has never been tested in actual combat.
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