The missile defense testing record

Last June I collated the missile defense testing record from MDA press releases. In light of my last post, I thought I would update the record with tests since June. There have been four tests during that time:

  • June 25, 2008: THAAD test successful.
  • November 19, 2008: Japanese Aegis/SM-3 test unsuccessful.
  • November 1, 2008: Aegis/SM-3 dual target test mixed (one target intercepted, one not).
  • September 17, 2007: THAAD test aborted (target missile failed).

There have been no intercept tests of the best known missile-defense system, the GBMD (ground-based midcourse defense), during that time. November was a tough month for the Aegis/SM-3 system, making only one of three attempted intercepts. If we set aside the aborted THAAD test, the Aegis/SM-3 is the only system to fail since missile defense was deployed in December 2002.

UPDATE (12/6): Another test of the GBMD system yesterday was a qualified success.  The system intercepted the target, but the test was intended to include countermeasures that failed to deploy, so it wasn’t as difficult as intended.

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