Pentagon tests a new strategy for defending against long-range-missile attacks

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Pentagon tests a new strategy for defending against long-range-missile attacks

In the first-of-its-kind test, the Pentagon on Monday carried out a new missile defense systems test of an unarmed missile soaring over the Pacific, using two interceptor missiles launched from underground silos in southern California.

Both interceptors zeroed in on the target an intercontintental ballistic missile-range missile, the Pentagon said. The first interceptor hit and destroyed the re-entry vehicle, which in an actual attack would contain a warhead. The second interceptor hit a secondary object, as expected, according to a statement by the Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency.
The interceptors were launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The target missile was launched from the Reagan Test Site in the Marshall Islands.

Even though the missile defense system has been operating for more than a decade, this was the first time it had attempted a "salvo" intercept in which more than one interceptor missile is launched at a single target missile. The salvo concept is meant to improve the chances of hitting an incoming missile, which in actual combat could contain decoys and other measures designed to make it difficult for an interceptor to find and hit the target.

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