US missile test aborted as target rocket fails

A test of the United States' long-range missile defense system was aborted Friday when a target rocket launched from Alaska failed and its dummy warhead fell into the Pacific Ocean before an interceptor missile could be launched from California, officials said. It was not immediately known why the target, an old intercontinental ballistic missile, failed after launch from Kodiak Island. "The target did not reach sufficient altitude to be deemed a threat, and so the Ballistic Missile Defense System did not engage it, as designed," Air Force Lt. Gen. Henry Obering III, director of the Missile Defense Agency, said in a statement. Obering said the test will be attempted again this summer by using a target missile that had been scheduled for use in a test next fall.