U.S. test successfully intercepts ballistic missile

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A missile from a U.S. Navy ship intercepted a medium-range ballistic missile in a test off Hawaii on Monday, according to the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA).

The Standard Missile-6, built by major U.S. defense contractor Raytheon, intercepted the missile target at sea in its final seconds of flight after being fired from the USS John Paul Jones.

Mike Campisi, Raytheon's SM-6 senior program director, said the company developed the anti-ballistic missile capability in just seven months after it was requested earlier this year.

The Standard Missile-6, one of the U.S. Navy's most advanced missile interceptors, intercepted a medium-range ballistic missile target at sea in its final seconds of flight, after being fired from the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones. A sailor on the USS John Paul Jones triggered a self-destruct sequence by mistake. However, the August 30 test had been planned for a long time and before North Korea's latest missile launch.

The U.S. frequently tests elements of its missile defense systems.

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The latest in a series of missile tests came as South Korea and the US conducted war games in the region.

The ground-based interceptor system was designed mainly to counter a North Korean missile threat, a USA official said at the time.

North Korea's most recent missile test early Tuesday local time prompted the Japanese government to tell residents to take cover.

The principal objective of the launch was test to a new targeting software created to enable the SM-6 to intercept a ballistic missile warhead descending from the upper atmosphere at extreme speed.

Separately, the MDA this week awarded Raytheon Missile Systems a $615 million contract, with $45 million in fiscal 2017 funding obligated initially, to produce 17 Standard Missile-3 Block IIA ballistic-missile interceptors and perform related work.

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