US says missile test fails to hit Iran target

A U.S. attempt to shoot down a ballistic missile mimicking an attack from Iran failed after a malfunction in a radar built by Raytheon Co, the Defense Department said.

US says missile test fails to hit Iran target

A U.S. attempt to shoot down a ballistic missile mimicking an attack from Iran failed after a malfunction in a radar built by Raytheon Co, the Defense Department said.

The botched $150 million test over the Pacific Ocean coincided with a Pentagon report that Iran had expanded its ballistic missile capabilities and posed a "significant" threat to U.S. and allied forces in the Middle East region.

In the exercise on Sunday, both the target missile, fired from Kwajalein in the Marshall Islands, and the interceptor, from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, performed normally, the Missile Defense Agency said.

"However, the Sea-Based X-band radar did not perform as expected," the agency said on its website. Officials will investigate the cause of the failure to intercept, it said.

The SBX radar is a major component of the ground-based midcourse defense, the sole U.S. bulwark against long-range missiles that could be tipped with chemical, biological or nuclear warheads.

It was the first time the United States had tested its long-range defense against "a simulated Iranian attack."

Sunday's test follows reports that the US military was speeding up deployment of missiles in the Gulf.

The move involved moving ships off the Iranian coast and anti-missile systems in at least four Arab countries -- Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Kuwait -- the New York Times reported, citing administration and military officials.


Agencies

Last Mod: 02 Şubat 2010, 16:36
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