WASHINGTON (Dispatches) – An American warship has failed to intercept a medium-range ballistic missile test target, according to the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA), which did not reveal the location of the weapon testing.
“The objective of the test was to demonstrate the capability of a ballistic missile defense-configured Aegis ship to detect, track, engage and intercept a medium-range ballistic missile target” with a salvo of two Standard Missile-6 (SM-6) Dual II missiles, the agency further explained in a Saturday statement.
“However, an intercept was not achieved,” it added as quoted in local media reports without offering further details on circumstances and other aspects of the system. Some reports identified the general location of the test as the Pacific Ocean near Hawaii.
Program officials, according to the reports, also asserted that they have initiated a probe into the cause of any problems which may have prevented a successful intercept and will analyze the results.
The MDA, an agency that operates under the U.S. Department of Defense, routinely conducts missile tests, the latest of which was carried out in cooperation with the U.S. Navy.
Although it has previously carried out successful intercept tests using different types of SM-6 missiles, the latest failure came as American anti-air missile systems have proved miserably ineffective against missile, rockets and drones used against U.S. military facilities and allies in the Middle East, notably in Saudi Arabia and Iraq.
The development came nearly a week after Chief of the US Central Command (CENTCOM) Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie suggested growing concerns of the despotic Saudi rulers in face of growing retaliatory aerial attacks by Yemeni forces amid repeated failures of U.S.-supplied Patriot anti-air missile systems in the Persian Gulf kingdom.
The development also comes as the U.S. Defense Department has proposed slight cuts to end strengths for all its military services in the fiscal 2022 budget, except the Space Force.
The nascent Space Force, which is still in the process of being established as its own separate service within the Department of the Air Force, would grow from 6,434 “Guardians” in fiscal 2021 to nearly 8,400 next year, an increase of almost 31 percent, according to a Friday report by the U.S.-based Military.com news outlet.
The proposed Pentagon budget released earlier on Friday calls for a cut of nearly 5,400 in total force end strength in the 2022 fiscal year. That includes small cuts to the Army, Navy, Air Force and the elite Marine Corps.