The Ballistic Missile Defense Organization's (BMDO) National Missile Defense (NMD) Joint Program Office announced today it performed a test today involving a planned intercept of a ballistic missile target over the central Pacific Ocean. An intercept was not achieved due to an apparent failure of the interceptor's kill vehicle to separate from the interceptor's second stage rocket motor.
A modified Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) with a target warhead was launched from Vandenberg AFB, Calif., at 12:19 a.m. EDT and a prototype interceptor was launched approximately 20 minutes later about 4,300 miles away from Kwajalein Atoll in the Republic of the Marshall Islands.
Government and industry program officials will conduct a review of the test results to determine the reason for not achieving an intercept and any other test objectives that were or were not met. It is likely to be at least several days until a preliminary review is completed.
Point of contact is Air Force Lt. Col Rick Lehner, BMDO External Affairs, at (703) 695-8743 Ext. 6123. Additional information can be obtained by accessing the BMDO website at http://www.acq.osd.mil/mda/mdalink/html/mdalink.html.