The U.S. on Tuesday test-fired its THAAD anti-ballistic missile system from Alaska that successfully intercepted a target missile launched from an Air Force Cargo plane north of Hawaii.
The drill was previously scheduled in June and comes a week after North Korea successfully test-launched an intermediate-range ballistic missile capable of hitting Alaska.
THAAD is used to intercept short- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles. It does not target intercontinental ballistic missiles. The U.S. has a perfect record on launches, hitting 14 out of 14 targets.
“I couldn’t be more proud of the government and contractor team who executed this flight test today,” said Missile Defense Agency Director Lt. Gen. Sam Greaves. “This test further demonstrates the capabilities of the THAAD weapon system and its ability to intercept and destroy ballistic missile threats. THAAD continues to protect our citizens, deployed forces and allies from a real and growing threat.”
Media was told it will be a few hours before imagery and video are released.
Soldiers from the 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade on Kodiak conducted launches using the same procedures they would use in an actual combat scenario, the statement read. Soldiers operating the equipment were not aware of the actual target launch time.
This latest demonstration comes following a show of force when two U.S. B-1 bombers flew to the Korean Peninsula from Guam to conduct a mock bombing run using dummy bombs on Saturday escorted by South Korean and later Japanese fighter jets.
The U.S. also launched short range surface-to-surface missiles from South Korea hours after the North Korean missile test on July 4.