U.S. military just successfully blew a mock missile out of the sky

Photo Credit: Missile Defense Agency

Photo Credit: Missile Defense Agency

Dan Lamothe, reporting for the Washington Post:

The U.S. military destroyed a mock intercontinental ballistic missile thousands of miles over the Pacific for the first time Tuesday, a step forward for a missile-defense program that has taken on new significance in light of North Korean threats.

The ground-based midcourse defense (GMD) system used a five-foot “kill vehicle” released from a larger ground-based interceptor missile to obliterate the mock ICBM, defense officials said. The mock threat was launched from the Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site in the Marshall Islands, and it was met by an interceptor launched from a silo at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

Setting aside the politics of publicizing something like this, the shear feat of engineering it takes to shoot another missile out of the sky is mind boggling. These kinds of missile defense systems have always been shaky in the past, but as radar and ballistics tech continue to improve so will our air-to-air defenses.