US successfully tests missile-defense system over the Pacific Ocean

PHOTO: A Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptor is launched from the Pacific Spaceport Complex Alaska in Kodiak, Alaska, during Flight Experiment THAAD (FET)-01 on July 30, 2017 (EDT). PlayLeah Garton/Missile Defense Agency
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The U.S. conducted a successful test of a missile-defense system over the Pacific Ocean, military officials announced Sunday morning.

The test was planned prior to North Korea's test launch of an intercontinental ballstic missile on Friday.

The Air Force launched a medium-range ballistic missile over the Pacific that was "detected, tracked and intercepted" by the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system located at a complex in Kodiak, Alaska, the U.S. Missile Defense Agency said in a statement.

“In addition to successfully intercepting the target, the data collected will allow [the Missile Defense Agency] to enhance the THAAD weapon system, our modeling and simulation capabilities, and our ability to stay ahead of the evolving threat,” said the agency's director, Lt. Gen. Sam Greaves.

As part of the test, "soldiers from the 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade conducted launcher, fire control and radar operations using the same procedures they would use in an actual combat scenario," the statement said. Soldiers operating the equipment were not aware of the actual target launch time.

This was the 15th successful intercept in 15 tests for the THAAD weapon system, the missile-defense agency said.

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