US successfully tests NATO missile defenses off Hawaii

HONOLULU (US): The US military says it has shot down a missile off Hawaii in a test of a missile defense system designed to protect NATO forces in Europe from attack.

The Missile Defense Agency said yesterday that an Air Force C-17 aircraft launched a medium-range target over the ocean southwest of Hawaii on Dec 9.

The Aegis Weapon System at the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai launched an interceptor missile after radar detected the target. The SM-3 interceptor moved into the target’s path and destroyed it.

Defense contractor Raytheon Co said the test’s success keeps the Aegis Ashore program on track for deployment in Romania by year’s end. It says it is expected to operate in Poland in 2018.