US Conducts Successful SM-3 Block IIA Intercept Test

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On October 26, the U.S. Navy and Missile Defense Agency (MDA) conducted a test of the SM-3 Block IIA interceptor off the west coast of Hawaii, successfully tracking and intercepting a medium range ballistic missile (MRBM) target. The SM-3 Block IIA was fired from the USS John Finn (DDG-113), which used the AN/SPY-1 radar and Aegis Baseline 9.C2 weapon system in the engagement. U.S. officials said this test shows that they have resolved previous design flaws in the interceptor, which will move the weapon closer to production. The SM-3 IIA is jointly developed by the United States and Japan, and features an extended range and increased speed over previous SM-3 variants.