U.S. blames operator for missile defense test failure

July 27, 2017

Honolulu Star Advertiser:

A sailor’s computer input error on the Pearl Harbor-based destroyer USS John Paul Jones apparently caused an $80 million missile defense test failure off the coast of Kauai on June 21, according to DefenseNews.com

A medium-range ballistic target missile was launched that night from the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai. The John Paul Jones, used as a test bed for missile defense, detected and tracked the target missile with its onboard AN/SPY-1 radar using the Aegis Baseline 9.C2 weapon system, the U.S. Missile Defense Agency said.

After acquiring and tracking the target, the ship launched an SM-3 Block IIA guided missile, but the interceptor — a new missile being jointly developed with Japan — did not hit the target, the agency said. No immediate cause for the failure was given at the time.

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