United States to conduct flight test of ballistic missile defense system

10 July, 2017, 00:57 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • A scene near downtown Juneau AlaskaSource Becky Bohrer  AP

The US Missile Defence Agency plans to conduct a long-planned flight test of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) missile system within the next few days, the media reported. Though some USA officials insisted North Korea's intercontinental ballistic missiles pose no credible threat to the country, government officials in Alaska have begun calling for an increased military presence as a precaution. The THAAD interceptors will be fired from Alaska.

The move comes close after North Korea's intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launch, but United States officials said the THAAD test is not related to the development.

"Recent news of North Korea's efforts to build up nuclear weapons capabilities underscores why it's so important to increase America's military presence in Alaska", Gov. Bill Walker said in a Thursday statement provided to Mic.

The THAAD test will be conducted against an intermediate ballistic missile.

The officials who disclosed to Reuters the precise nature and timing of the upcoming test spoke on condition of anonymity. The MDA has claimed that THAAD had a 100 percent successful track record in its 13 flight tests since 2006.

On Thursday, President Donald Trump vowed to confront North Korea "very strongly", saying that the U.S. was considering "severe things" for Pyongyang.


Mr Turnbull said that in terms of a missile defence shield for Australia there had been talk of the THAAD system.

Earlier in July, Moscow and Beijing called on Washington to immediately halt the deployment of THAAD in South Korea.

THAAD's success rate in testing is far higher than the one for America's Ground-based Midcourse Defence system (GMD), the system specifically created to shoot down an ICBM headed for the USA mainland.

Does the North Korean threat worry you?

"The nation with, overwhelmingly, the greatest leverage over North Korea is China".

Mr Rudd's comments referred to the need for a system that would protect population centres such as Darwin - which is now potentially within range of North Korea's missiles - rather than the systems Mr Turnbull referred to.

On Tuesday, the military forces from the US and South Korea launched surface-to-surface missiles in reaction to North Korea's recent test-launch of an ICBM.

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