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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 105-97
March 06, 1997

INTERCEPT NOT ACHIEVED DURING THAAD TEST

The Ballistic Missile Defense Organization and the U.S. Army said today that a Theater High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile attempted to hit a target ballistic missile in a test at White Sands Missile Range, NM.

An intercept was not achieved. The THAAD interceptor and target debris landed on the White Sands Missile Range as was planned in the event of a miss. Analysis of the flight data is continuing to determine the cause of the malfunction. Although the THAAD missile missed the target, the test did yield valuable information which will be used to determine what corrections are required. Preliminary indications are that the THAAD radar and command and control system performed normally in this test. This was the fourth THAAD flight to attempt an intercept.

The test, the seventh THAAD missile flight, was another in a continuing series to verify the THAAD design and the performance of the prototype system components.