US, Japan Conduct Successful SM-3 IIA Intercept Test

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On February 3, the U.S. Missile Defense Agency and the Japanese Ministry of Defense conducted a successful intercept test of the Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IIA. This was the third flight test and first intercept test for the jointly-developed missile. The  SM-3 IIA was fired by the USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53), which intercepted and destroyed a medium-range missile target launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii. MDA Director RADM James Syring commented on the launch, saying “the missile, developed jointly by a Japanese and U.S. government and industry team is vitally important to both our nations and will ultimately improve our ability to defend against increasing ballistic missile threats around the world.” Preliminary data indicates that the missile met its primary test objective, although program officials will continue to review telemetry data in order to assess system performance.