The US military on Sunday hailed the success of a complex $230 million test of the US missile defense system that it said showed the ability of the Aegis and THAAD weapons systems to identify and destroy ballistic and cruise missiles at once.
The test was conducted near Wake Island in the western Pacific Ocean around 11:05 p.m. EDT by the US Missile Defense Agency, US European Command, US Pacific Command, the Ballistic Missile Defense System Operational Test Agency and the Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense.
"This was a highly complex operational test of the BMDS which required all elements to work together in an integrated layered defense design to detect, track, discriminate, engage, and negate the ballistic missile threats," MDA said in a statement released late Sunday.
Riki Ellison, founder of the nonprofit Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance, said it was the first time the US military had proven the effectiveness of a layered defense.
"It's a huge success," Ellison said, adding the test would increase confidence in US plans to deploy a THAAD battery, or system, to Europe, and could help support a drive to send a THAAD system to South Korea.