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US Destroys mock ICBM with Ship-Launched Raytheon SM-3 Block IIA for First Time

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US destroys mock ICBM with ship-launched missile for first timeOn November 18, 2020, the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) System-equipped Navy destroyer, United States Ship (USS) John Finn launched a Raytheon Standard Missile (SM)-3 Block IIA to successfully shot down a mock intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) target for the first time during a missile defense test by Pentagon, Headquarters the US Department of Defense.

  • The missile test was conducted in an area of the Open Pacific Ocean near Hawaii, United States (US) while the unarmed target ICBM was launched from the Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site on the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands.
  • The USS John Finn collected tracking data from the Command and Control Battle Management and Communications network to destroy the target missile.
  • This is for the first time an ICBM test has been conducted from a sea-based vessel, the ICBM intercept tests were only conducted using ground-based launchers in Alaska and California​ by the country​.

Key Points:

–This whole scenario demonstrated that an Aegis BMD-equipped vessel equipped with the SM-3 Block IIA missile can defeat an ICBM-class target.

–Notably, it was the sixth time that the ship-launched interceptor had been tested against a simulated missile threat. But earlier it was tested to take down intermediate-range ballistic missiles, but this showed a new capability.

–The move comes as the US is facing continuous nuclear and missile threats from North Korea.

About Raytheon Standard Missile (SM)-3 Block IIA:

The SM-3 Block IIA is an interceptor developed by Raytheon Missiles & Defense in partnership with Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries as the successor to SM-3 Block 1A to provide extended coverage for defense.

Recent Related News:

i.On October 23, 2020, Indian Navy Missile Corvette INS Prabal successfully launched an Anti-Ship Missile (AShM) on its Target in Arabian Sea. The anti-ship missile was fired by INS Prabal during a practice drill.

ii.On September 30, 2020 India successfully test fired the surface-to-surface Supersonic Cruise Missile BrahMos with a Strike Range of over 400 Kilometers from Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur, Odisha. It was jointly conducted by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) & BrahMos Aerospace.

About United States (US):
Capital– Washington, D.C.
Currency– United States Dollar
President-elect– Joe Biden (Joseph Robinette Biden Jr.)